Pool Sun Covers Blog

  • Pool and Patio Landscaping

    What better way to beat the winter blues, than by seeking inspiration for backyard pool and patio landscaping.  From quick visits to Houzz, to lengthy  perusals on Pinterest, there are many incredible suggestions to be explored.  Granted you may need to hit the jackpot to implement some of the ideas, but others are perfect for handy crafters, green thumbs and woodworkers.  Here are but a few of the recent favorites by team members at Sun Covers Canada.

    rustic-poolSan Francisco Home with "Spa in Pool" and rich fern and grass landscaping.   They describe as "rustic", we describe as luxurious and tranquil.

    traditional-poolThis stunning example of a natural pool comes from a home in Philadelphia.  The river rock bog is both focal and functional.

    firepit 3We found this little gem on Pinterest, and tracked down Brenda B's (the creator) website.  What better way wrap up a day of fun in the sun and pool, than  roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  Having your family's imprint on the bottom - awesome!

    fun-inground-swimming-pool-and-waterfall-installation-mahwah-new-jerseyVanishing edge, water slide, water falls, and a pool big enough to kayak?   Clearly this family in New Jersey values their backyard oasis!

    pool planter herbs flowersLast summer, one of the Sun Covers Canada team members did large potted herb planters around her pool. They were wonderfully fragrant and beautiful. Seek out unique pots during the winter months, and plan your own floral, decorative grass or herb garden planters.

    Have you been scouring websites, looking for pool and patio landscaping ideas?   We want to see your favourites!

  • Recycling Your Solar Blanket

    The team at Sun Covers Canada was recently asked if recycling a solar blanket is possible.

    Given most solar blankets and sun covers are manufactured from Polyethylene and Low Density Polyethylene, they fall under plastic recycling code #4. Number four plastic products are typically reworked into garbage can liners, plastic lumber, squeeze bottles, frisbees, lawn furniture, and toys.

    While most municipalities include #4 plastics in recycling programs, a solar pool blanket or sun cover may require special handling. Before you dispose of the bulky plastic in your recycling bin, the team at Sun Covers Canada strongly urges you to call your local waste and recycling program for guidance.

  • Winter Swimming Lessons

    With backyard swimming pools closed for the year, Canadian families may be searching for new activities to keep their children active and engaged. Many will turn to indoor soccer, hockey or ice skating. Some will explore skiing or snowboarding. However, the team at Sun Covers Canada wants to reminder parents everywhere: winter swimming lessons are a great investment for the warmer weather to come!

    Cities big and small normally boast an indoor swimming pool. Typically kept open all winter long, the summer-like temperatures offer a friendly retreat on the coldest of winter days. By enrolling your child or children in winter swimming lessons, they will continue to build strong water skills and master drowning prevention techniques.

    Finally, there is the unsung benefit of winter swimming lessons: zero impact aerobic exercise. If your children are already enrolled in a contact or bone-jarring winter sport, swimming helps utilize an entirely different muscle set. This diversity helps enhance skills across all other sporting platforms.

    So, what are you waiting for? Contact your local indoor swimming pool, and sign-up for winter swimming lessons today!

  • Swimming Pool Winterizing

    Mere months ago, the team at Sun Covers Canada was eagerly sharing in the excitement of spring pool openings. Sadly, summer fun has come to an end, and Canadians are quickly preparing for swimming pool winterizing.

    New and longtime pool owners typically want to make life easy. There is no shame in hiring your local, reputable pool company to complete the pool winterizing requirements. However, for those DIY types, we can fully appreciate the need for a “cheat sheet”.

    Matt at SwimUniversity has two excellent quick step guides, along with videos, which we wanted to share.
    Above Ground Pool Closing: http://www.swimuniversity.com/how-to-close-your-above-ground-swimming-pool/
    Inground Pool Closing: http://www.swimuniversity.com/how-to-close-your-inground-swimming-pool/
    In addition to these resources, here are some handy reminders the team at Sun Covers Canada.

    Pool Winterizing – Remove Your Sun Cover or Solar Blanket

    Remove your sun cover (also known as solar cover), scrub and clean both surfaces, allow to fully dry, then fold and store.

    Pool Winterizing – Water Test & Chemical Application

    Test your pool water. Ensure you treat metal or algae troubles, as you want clean water come spring. Adjust your Total Alkalinity, pH, and Calcium Hardness. Scrub or brush pool walls, and vacuum pool floor. Clean your filter. Utilize a Pool Winterizing Kit (typically includes algaecide and winter shock), and follow directions and timing requirements. Continue running pump and filter according to closing kit guidelines, normally for 1-2 hours. Once chemical application has been completed, move to draining.

    Pool Winterizing – Partial Drain

    Start by giving your sand filter a backwash. Commence partial draining of your pool, dropping water level 4”-6” below your returns and skimmer.

    Pool Winterizing – Locate Winter Cover & Supplies

    Carry your winter cover, weight bags or water bags, winterizing plugs, air compressor/ShopVac, and air pillow (if used) close to your pool.

    Pool Winterizing – Turn Off Utilities

    Now is the time to ensure your electricity, gas and other pool utilities are shut off.

    Pool Winterizing – Filter

    The filter dial should be set to Neutral or Winter, not the Closed setting. Remove the drain plug from the filter, leaving it off to ensure proper drainage during the winter months. Remove sight glass. Remove pressure gauge, and store safely in your home or garage. When working with your filter, the goal is to ensure no water is left to freeze and expand, which can cause cracking and damage.

    Pool Winterizing – Pump

    Disengage pump lid, and leave off. Unfasten the drain plug, and leave off. Utilize an air compressor or Wet/Dry ShopVac to suck our water and avoid unnecessary damage from freezing.

    Pool Winterizing – Plumbing

    Separate plumbing connections, and blow out the plumbing lines. Again, this is a job you can complete with a Wet/Dry ShopVac. Should your pool have a plumbing connection from the pump suction line (skimmer to pump), disconnect. Close off skimmer holes with plugs, then ensure you Wet/Dry ShopVac the pump to skimmer line. Chlorinator should be drained, flushed and cleaned. Protect your plumbing lines with Swimming Pool Antifreeze. Antifreeze is intended to go into the lines, not your pool water or chlorinator.

    Pool Winterizing – Eyeball Fittings

    Remove the eyeball fittings (otherwise known as jets), and mount winterizing plugs in their place.

    Pool Winterizing – Heater

    Disengage the by-pass. Remove plugs from the headers (both front and back), and utilize a Wet/Dry ShopVac to suck out water to protect from freezing water damage.

    Pool Winterizing – Winter Pool Cover

    Unlike lightweight solar blankets and sun covers, a winter pool cover is durable. Designed to safeguard your pool from high winds, harsh elements, flying debris, and even rain water, they are an invaluable investment for Canadian pool owners.

    We urge all pool owners to inspect their winter pool cover prior to installation, to ensure no small animals or pests have damaged the cover while in storage. If you spot holes or weak fabric, have problems with your tie-downs or weight bags, contact a local pool professional. A winter pool cover needs to support the weight of rain and snow, otherwise your spring opening could be delayed and challenging.

  • Swimming Pool Games and Toys

    Swimming pool games and toys help keep water lovers, both big and small, happily occupied.  Several weeks ago, we asked our Facebook and Twitter fans to share their top picks.  We have compiled the list, and in no certain order, we present the Sun Covers Canada fan favourites.

    Swimming Pool Games and Toys - Marco Polo

    Marco?  Polo!  Marco Polo remains a popular swimming pool game, especially for the competitive types.  With numerous variations, including an in-water and on-land mix, Marco Polo remains a mandatory summertime experience.

    Swimming Pool Games and Toys - Pool Noodles

    Turns out the pool noodle is another fan favourite.  From noodle fights to floating rafts, the pool noodle proves a valuable all-ages toy and flotation device.

    Swimming Pool Games and Toys - Sharks & Minnows

    Move over Red Rover, it's time for Sharks & Minnows. This simple game of tag has numerous variants, and is great for developing lung capacity in younger swimmers.

    Swimming Pool Games and Toys - Inflatables

    Everyone loves pool inflatables. From sharks to swans, climbing walls to slides, the growing list of inflatables is endless.

    Swimming Pool Games and Toys - Diving for Treasure

    Most of us remember diving for treasure. Our parents would launch pennies into the pool, and we would dive deep to recover the goods. Nowadays, you can pick up packages of dive rings, dive sticks, and dive wands. This game provides the perfect opportunity to develop underwater swimming skills. Goggles recommended!

    Swimming Pool Games and Toys - Splash Bombs and Water Guns

    Splash bombs and water guns are perfect for every family (swimming pool or not) during the hot summer months.  Splash bomb balls are the ideal alternative to water balloon fights and live up to their slogan: "Soak It! Throw It! Splash It!". Water guns have also come a long way, with fast fill openings and spare cartridges for non-stop action.

    Swimming Pool Games and Toys - Summer Fun!

    No matter what swimming pool games and toys your family enjoys, they all guarantee one outcome: Summer Fun!

  • Water Resistance Training

    Owners of swim spas and swimming pools should take advantage of water resistance training. In the past, most residential spa and pool owners were limited to pool noodles and water weights. Thanks to the health and fitness industry embracing the need to offer unique, water-friendly devices, the range of products has expanded. Here are some affordable pieces of equipment to suit every budget.

    Pool Noodle
    Considered by many as the original pool fitness device, the pool noodle is a long, buoyant cylindrical tube. Thanks to its buoyancy, users must engage various muscle groups to counteract its flotation. By following a few simple exercises, including squats and lunges, a pool noodle can provide intense water resistance training with a focus on toning and sculpting.

    Pool Water Weights
    Looking to improve your overall fitness, with a focus on strength training? Consider investing in a set of pool water weights. Typically manufactured from Styrofoam or other water absorbing materials, pool water weights weight nothing when dry. Put them into the pool, and suddenly these weightlifting devices can provide a vigorous workout.

    Water Floatation Belt
    Commonly used by injured runners or cyclists in conjunction with physiotherapy, a water flotation belt is also recommended for aquatic cardio. The belts promote non-weight bearing cardiovascular training. It is proven to accelerate rehabilitation through improved circulation and healing. It also ensures users maintain or improve their overall fitness level.

    Swim Gloves
    Seeking added resistance training in your pool or swim spa? Swim gloves mold to your hands, and add load-bearing resistance to almost every water workout. Available in neoprene or silicone, these webbed gloves have gained in popularity as they create optimal drag.  With hand resistance increased over 50%, swimmers of all levels are assured a concentrated upper body strength training session.

    With swim spa and pool owners looking to simultaneously maximize their outdoor recreation and fitness needs, water resistance training devices provide the perfect solution. Why not explore the ever expanding options, and see how you can make the most of your backyard oasis.

  • Healthy Poolside Treats

    Canadians are rejoicing thanks to a stellar 2014 pool season.  Swimsuits and wet towels are taking over the laundry, the smell of sunscreen lingers in the humid air.  Without a doubt, families across the country are enjoying the final weeks of their summer vacation poolside.

    While a swimming pool can prove the perfect source of recreation in the summer, poolside food and drinks are notorious for being high in sugar, salt or grease.  Whether your children invite friends over for a cool down, or you like to entertain, a little planning goes a long way in keeping your poolside diet wholesome and nutritious.

    Healthy Poolside Treats

    Vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, peppers, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and more can be cut in advance.  Cherry tomatoes, snap peas and miniature seedless peppers are perfect for those unexpected guests who need a little sustenance.

    Fresh fruit is always a hit.  Strawberries can be served whole or cut, raspberries and blueberries are also favorites with all age groups.  Watermelon, cantaloupe and summer melons are perfectly healthy poolside treats with minimal prep required.  Grapes, either fresh or frozen, are another hit at pool parties.

    Olives, hard-boiled egg slices, brick cheese, cured meats and crackers proves a well-liked and fun poolside treat.  Keep in mind these items should not sit in direct sunlight, and on extremely hot days should only be kept outside for short periods of time.

    Nuts are also another fantastic source of protein, and perfect for munching on the go.

    Naturally flavoured water has become a go-to for many families.  Favorites with the Sun Cover Canada team include Cucumber Mint Lime and Watermelon Mint.  Check out the great recipes at Greatist.com for inspiration.

    Remember, being outside in the sun can cause dehydration and hunger.  Be sure you, your family and friends do not fall victim to these pitfalls.  With a little advance (or last minute!) preparation, you can save a ton of money, and keep everyone eating like a champ with healthy poolside treats.

  • How a Sun Cover Can Save You Money

    A sun cover is designed to maintain pool water temperature overnight, in addition to reducing debris.  If you have avoided purchasing a sun cover due cost, here are factors to consider in your cost-savings analysis.

    Water Waste
    Pool owners may not realize their pool can lose thousands of gallons of water due to evaporation. This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, the water has to be replenished.  With rising utilities costs, homeowners on municipal or well water services pay dearly for refilling.  In addition, with each pound of heated water removed by evaporation you lose 1,048 Btu of heat from your pool water.  A sun cover can reduce evaporation by 90 to 95 percent.

    Believe it or not a sun cover can save you 50 to 70 percent in energy costs. Without a sun cover, residential pool owners spend approximately $1,500 annually on heating a pool to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Whereas pool owners who harness the sun’s energy can reach the same water temperature without hydro assisted aid.  All told, heading a pool is expensive.  Simply covering your pool during the day, and especially at night, can drastically reduce the operational costs of running and maintaining your pool.

    Chemical Consumption
    Pool chemicals can be costly, and harmful to the environment. By purchasing a sun cover you can reduce chemical consumption from 35 to 60 percent. On average, the Canadian homeowner spends $262 each summer on chemicals.  Whereas pool owners using a sun cover see this number drop from $79-$99 annually.

    Bottom line, a sun cover will help reduce time spent cleaning your pool water.  It can also save from unnecessary and rising costs.  In a time where lessening our impact on the environment is essential, you owe it to yourself, your wallet and our planet to explore the advantages of a sun cover.

  • Why Invest In A Solar Pool Cover

    If you are finding your pool is costing money, collecting debris and is taking forever to heat, a solar pool cover is the answer to your problems. Here is how a solar pool cover can help.

    Over time, you may notice quite a bit of natural debris accumulating in your pool. Items may include leaves, bugs, and branches to name a few. Of course, random objects like rogue pieces of garbage can appear on occasion.  A solar pool cover will help keep your pool debris free.  This means less time scooping, more time swimming.

    Your pool is not exempt from the evaporation process.  A quality pool cover can minimize overnight heat loss from evaporation.

    Using a solar pool cover may reduce your chemical consumption by 35-60 percent, which means happier eyes, hair, skin and wallet.

    Less Energy
    Heating your pool does not always have to hurt your wallet. A pool cover can help keep pool warm with the help from the sun. Even if your pool is only exposed to the sun during the day, your pool water will retain heat when covered overnight.

    Save Money
    Do not be afraid of the initial cost of a pool cover.  By purchasing a quality pool cover, the reduction in your chemical and heating costs will offset the cost associated with a new cover.

    A solar pool cover is well worth the investment and will end up saving you money in the long run.  Learn more about our variety of solar pool covers, along with their warranties, at Sun Covers Canada.

  • Bubbles Down

    Bubbles down?  Bubbles up? Surprisingly, the most affordable energy saving tool for a recreational swimming pool is often a source of confusion.  The solar pool blanket, otherwise known as a solar blanket, solar cover, summer cover or sun cover, is a large sheet of clear, grey, light blue or dark blue polypropylene, Ultra Violet stabilized polyethylene or vinyl.  Like the popular bubble wrap used as a packing material, a solar pool blanket will have a smooth surface and a bubble surface.

    Considered a worthwhile investment by pool supply and maintenance companies, a solar pool blanket can help curb rising water and hydro electricity bills.  However, in order to maximize your savings, you need to use the solar cover correctly.  Thus this frequently asked question: Bubbles up or bubbles down?  Technically speaking, the correct answer is bubbles down, smooth side up.

    A solar pool cover acts primarily as a barrier between pool water and the air.  The cover can minimize overnight heat loss from evaporation.  The downward facing bubbles help trap the heat, pushing the warm moisture back into the water.  In addition, placing the cover on the surface with the bubbles down is said to help raise water temperature.  The general consensus is sunlight heats the air trapped within the bubbles, which in turn transfers heat to the water.  While experts may agree to disagree, most pool owners report a daily 1 degree temperature jump during the first 7-10 days.

    Accidentally cut your solar blanket with bubbles up to fit a unique shaped pool?  Do not despair!  While the insulation value will drop due lack of trapped inert air, the cover will still protect from overnight heat loss.  The only other potential setback is the early rupture of the bubble membrane.  The bubble layer is more susceptible to premature sun damage.  Typically, a cover installed bubbles up instead of bubbles down will last 2-4 years, compared to the industry average of 3-5 years.

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Real Testimonials
“Very easy transaction. I phoned and was answered straight away. I placed the order and it arrived very quickly. I shopped around before I bought the cover and Sun Covers had the best price for such a high quality cover. I will certainly recommend you to other pool owners. ”
   – Liz Williams, Regina, Saskatchewan, July 29th, 2017