The byproduct of industry: Whether at a hotel or in the backyard of a residence, what is the biggest fear of any swimming pool owner? The fear of someone accidently falling in the pool and drowning. To prevent such a horrible tragedy, these same owners often cover their pools with a heavyweight safety cover to keep a potential victim safely above the water in case of an accidental fall. When purchasing a safety cover, a pool owner can choose between a heavier, and more expensive, solid vinyl tarp or a lighter, less expensive mesh cover.

The downside of the mesh is it allows rainwater through and doesn’t keep the pool as clean as does the vinyl version. The downside of the vinyl version is both the cost and the weight, which is cumbersome when taking the cover off frequently.

The repurpose:
Part of what makes these great for repurposing is the one-inch webbing that forms a grid over the entire size of the cover. The original purpose of the webbing is for strength. Yes, the webbing is the backbone. The vinyl or mesh just is just the covering between the grids.

In the case of the mesh not only is it porous, it also lets sunlight through.

It is this latter fact, that is the basis for its second life.


These retired pool covers make great shade tarps for livestock, dog kennels, plant nurseries, etc.

Like with any shade screen, one of the risks is it getting a hole in it and then a strong wind tearing the screen clear in two. The great thing about an old pool cover as shade is the one-inch webbing grid previously described. A strong wind will only rip a hole as far as the nearest length of webbing.

While the webbing won’t prevent ripping, it will certainly prevent it from widening and ruining the screen.

Another use is a cover tarp where it is desirable to have sun and water soak through. PD

Damon Carson is founder of Colorado-based Repurposed Materials, which has a diverse selection of “repurposed” products for sale. Click here to visit the website, click here to email Carson or call (303) 478-6193.

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