If you are in the market for an above ground swimming pool, you probably have heard someone mention pool cove as an accessory or option for your pool. If you are like most people, the first thing you ask yourself is “What is pool cove?” or “Do I need pool cove for my above ground pool?” I want to clear the air on what it is, how to install it and when it is necessary.
When most people think of pool cove they think of a man made product. The truth is pool cove can also be sand or dirt. Prior to the new products on the market, all pool received a cove by creating a berm or transition from the pool floor to the pool wall. This berm was and can still be constructed by using the natural earth or dirt that the pool is being constructed on top of.
In order to make this berm, we would simply push the dirt up against the wall of the pool. We would go up the wall about 6-8 inches and out away from the wall about the same distance, making the cove a wedge or 45 degree angle of dirt all the way around the pool.
Regardless whether you are purchasing a pool cove or making your own, it needs to be done. A pool cove serves a couple of purposes and should be included in every build. The main purpose of the cove is to keep the pool liner from coming in contact with the pool frame. This is necessary because the frame is constructed of many pieces of steel or resin, and sharp edge on these frame components can easily damage the vinyl liner.
The second benefit of the pool cove is the fact that it does not stress or stretch the pool liners seams. The added slack that is obtained when the cove is built really helps add to the liners longevity in my opinion.
Now we get to the foam pool cove that you see for sale on all pool websites as well as local pool stores. This cove is necessary in some cases and a convenience in most others. For most people this foam pool cove is optional but makes for a perfectly shaped berm or cove. It is very convenient and easy to install and lasts forever.
In some cases pool cove is a necessary item. An example of this situation would be an above ground swimming pool being installed on a hard surface like concrete. In this case dirt or sand would not be an option. The sand would wash out from under the pool due to rains and inclement weather. Eventually washing out all the cove and leaving the pool liner and the pool frame coming in contact with each other.
Installation is very simple and mostly consists of sticky tape on the backside. The pool cove can be installed on both a new or old above ground pool. To use simply make the pool bottom as flat possible first. After that, peel the tape on the backside and stick to the wall at the floor of the pool. Do the same for the second piece of cove, butting it up the first piece. Continue on around the pool placing one piece up against the prior until you get back to the beginning. If the last piece is too long, cut to fit.
From here place the Armor shield (if applicable) on top of the pool floor and allow it to run up the cove. No need to cut the Armor Shield to fit.
As you can see, preformed pool cove is a nice way to achieve a high quality professional results with your above ground pool installation. There is little downside to using it other than the addition upfront cost. Most of our above ground pool customers that order pool packages generally order the pool cove and the Armor Shield together. An added bonus to the pool cove and floor padding is the fact that they not only stop critters and insects from burrowing and damaging your vinyl pool liner, they extend the warranty on the pool liner if liner and accessories are purchased at the same time.