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Pool cove, or coving as it more commonly called, can be found on above-ground swimming pools all around the world. An above-ground swimming pool is constructed with a very thin and flexible outer wall which contains the liner and the water. The outer wall is supported by the pool cove, which is typically thin aluminum channel which runs from the ground to the top of the swimming pool as well as around the top edge of the pool wall. Made from a slightly wider pool cove, the top edge not only creates structure that will prevent the pool wall from collapsing or bulging out, but it also provides a more comfortable edge on which to enter and exit the swimming pool.
When installing an above-ground swimming pool, the outer wall is set into place while the pool cove is installed. Once the pool cove is in place, the pool wall can be stood into position, placed against the cove and locked in place by installing the top rail or edge. The pool cove acts much like a skeleton, giving the pool wall much-needed support and strength. Without the pool cove, the swimming pool would have no structural strength and would likely collapse when filled with water.
The actual swimming pool wall is not much thicker than the swimming pool liner. If not for the pool cove surrounding the top edge of the swimming pool, it would be unpleasant to rest by leaning over the top edge of the pool. The cove is also used as a safety device. Another very critical function of the coving is to secure the liner inside of the pool wall. The liner is sandwiched between the pool wall and the vertical coving channels and locked in place by the coving that encircles the top edge of the swimming pool wall.
Skeletal strength, comfort, liner integrity and security are all functions of the pool coving. The above-ground swimming pool relies on the coving for much more than aesthetics. The aluminum channels stand guard around the outer perimeter of the swimming pool, providing support to the liner and the pool walls. While the coving protects the wall from bulging when filled with water, it cannot protect the wall from bulging due to ice. In cold climates, it is recommended that the swimming pool be drained of half of its water, thereby protecting the pool from expanding ice which would damage the pool.