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How Old is Your Pool Cover Material? The Importance of Replacing Automatic Pool Cover Fabrics

June 14, 2024

Your automatic pool cover's safety depends on the fabric's integrity. Learn why pool cover replacement fabrics are crucial from a Pool Patrol team member.

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You may not realise that your automatic pool cover fabric needs replacing, but a refresh provides safety, security, and a clean look to your backyard.

You may not realise that your automatic pool cover fabric needs replacing, but a refresh provides safety, security, and a clean look to your backyard.

When now Pool Patrol team member Angie moved into her new home several years ago, the inground pool came with its own cover. As this was before Angie had started at our automatic pool cover company, she didn’t give the cover a second thought. 

“We didn’t know about replacing pool cover fabrics and we bought a pool that already had a swimming pool auto cover. We didn’t know how terrible the condition was, the fabric was probably 16 years old,” she says. 

Pool cover fabric needs to be replaced every seven to nine years to maintain the integrity and safety of the cover. 

Angie’s cover was dry, brittle, and cracked. What she thought was external water pooling on the cover was pool water gathering on the surface through tiny holes in the fabric. 


“A false sense of safety”

The water pools had become a wildlife attractant and an eyesore, but what Angie didn’t realize at the time was the cover was deeply unsafe. 

“We didn’t even know it was a safety cover when we bought the house; we thought it was for debris,” says Angie. “We never let anyone walk on it.” 

Thank goodness no one stepped foot on the cover, as they likely would have found themselves in the pool. 

“The cover gave us a false sense of safety,” says Angie. “But if someone had stepped on it, they would have gone right through.”

Now, she wants to spread the word about pool cover safety. Not everyone joins a pool cover team like Angie, and may not realize that their auto cover is unsafe. 


Pool cover fabric and safety

When functioning correctly, pool safety covers can save lives. The integrity of pool cover fabric, however, is vital to the auto cover performing optimally and safely. 

Properly installed, new fabric, when combined with the support of pool water at the appropriate level, is so strong that it can support the weight of much more than an adult human. 

We’ve even seen healthy pool covers support heavier objects and animals like golf carts or bears! 

This means that if something or someone finds themselves on top of the pool cover unattended, they will not fall in. This is a lifesaving feature of a pool cover and is especially critical for giving families with little ones peace of mind.

When the fabric is compromised, either through wear and tear, age, or an accident, the pool cover loses its ability to support those large amounts of weight that you rely on for security.

This pool cover fabric is an estimated 16 years old! Pool cover fabric should be replaced roughly every seven to nine years to ensure safety and integrity.

This pool cover fabric is an estimated 16 years old! Pool cover fabric should be replaced roughly every seven to nine years to ensure safety and integrity. 

The pool cover fabric that came with the house was teeming with red flags that it was unsafe and needed to be replaced:

  • Wet spots that are not easy to see without closer inspection were causing water from the pool to gather on top of the fabric.

  • The fabric was very stiff and made a crunchy sound when being rolled or unrolled.

  • The carriage system of the cover was old and outdated, making the cover more difficult to clean.

  • Faded spots of the fabric denote weakness where it is worn out and cannot bear weight.

  • Pooling water attracted wildlife like birds and raccoons.

This cover was unsafe, period. Beyond that, the cover was not making maintenance as simple as it could be nor was it conserving energy.

New, properly installed automatic pool cover fabric not only provides a superior level of safety for your backyard but looks great, too!

New, properly installed automatic pool cover fabric not only provides a superior level of safety for your backyard but looks great, too!

After Angie became aware of the state of her old pool cover, an upgrade was necessary. Pool Patrol worked with her to install new pool cover fabric quickly and efficiently while also upgrading the pool carriage.

The benefits of the new fabric and carriage upgrade include:

  • Peace of mind knowing that the automatic pool cover can now provide life-saving safety features to her backyard.

  • A polished look with clean, smooth fabric.

  • No more odd noises when the cover operates.

  • Increased energy savings from heat, chemical, and water loss as the pool is properly covered and sealed.

  • Cleaning and maintenance are much easier.

  • The carriage upgrade is not only more streamlined and modern but also means that Angie’s cover will no longer stick to the pool walls, and the family no longer has to scrub extra hard to remove debris, pollen, and plant life.

Angie also upgraded to the latest pump that Pool Patrol has to offer and is thrilled that the new pump no longer requires a hose attachment and also removes water from the cover more efficiently than the previous pump. Learn more about Pool Patrol’s new rain pump.

Another bonus: Angie participates in house exchanges and the renewed fabric provides security for not only her own family but families with young children who may stay at her home.

“I feel more comfortable knowing I can have guests in my home and not worry about the safety of my pool,” says Angie.


Signs your pool cover fabric needs to be replaced

Not sure if your pool cover fabric is compromised? Here are the signs that it’s time to replace your pool cover fabric:

Fabric is brittle, stiff, or cracking: Changes to the texture and feel of the fabric such as brittleness or cracking, are telltale signs to call an expert. Your cover may have small holes or leaks you’re not aware of.

Holes: Pool cover fabric should not have any holes or rips.

Odd sounds: Remember how Angie noted the “crunchy” sound of her pool cover fabric when it rolled or unrolled? Any odd sounds are a red flag and could be coming from the fabric or even the motor.

Bunched-up fabric or frayed webbing: Fraying is a clear sign of wear, and bunched fabric can get caught in the tracks of your pool cover. A functioning pool cover should lay flat on the surface of the water.

Age: Pool cover fabric has a life of seven to nine years. If your fabric has aged past that, it should be replaced or at minimum inspected by an expert.

If in doubt, a call to an expert is always worth the peace of mind. Remember, sometimes it’s difficult to spot deterioration with the untrained eye. If in doubt, contact an expert for a proper pool cover inspection.


How to replace your pool cover fabric

So, it’s time to replace your pool cover fabric. What’s next? Replacement fabric is a job for a pool cover specialist.

Specialists understand the details of sizing and installation to ensure a perfect fit with no sagging or slack and optimal safety benefits. Pool Patrol will also provide a pool cover tune-up when installing your new fabric.

Replacement fabrics are available in eight different colours of high-tensile fabric.

Step 1: Call Pool Patrol for a quote and to book your replacement fabric installation.

Step 2: We install your fabric in one afternoon with as little disruption to your backyard as possible.

Step 3: Enjoy your renewed pool cover fabric and peace of mind for your backyard!


Pool Patrol has been keeping families safe by installing automatic pool covers in British Columbia since 1995. If you’re curious about a pool cover installation in your backyard, contact Pool Patrol today.

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