Aboveground Pool Cover Dilemma! What is the Best Winter Cover?

by Pool Builders on 12-16-2009 in Articles

Getting ready to close your new pool for winter? There are differences between an aboveground pool cover and an inground pool and there are different cover considerations. Read on to find out how not to damage your pool and enjoy a care free winter storage and summer opening. I was new at "pool maintenance and security" just a few short years ago also. I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out the techniques so hopefully I can save you some time and let you in on a couple of pool cover secrets.

Here are the five things to consider

1. Pool design is important. aboveground pools and inground pools have some obvious differences. An aboveground pool is free standing, normally shallower and has all pipe work exposed which is in contrast to an inground pool setup. Both pool designs require you to leave water in them over the winter shut down. With an above gr pool it is more important as your sides may collapse with too little water.

Now lets add in the weight of an aboveground pool cover. Lets assume you have the water drained to half (much too low in my opinion) You then attach the pool cover and secure from all sides. Now the rains come, your cover fills with water, pressure pulls from the top sides in all directions and your pool folds in. Bad scene. So, consider your pool design and size. Drain water just below the skimmer. Buy an aboveground pool cover that is larger than your pool surface as it needs to rest (float) on the water left in the pool. This way, when the rains come, you have left enough slack in the pool cover to hold the rain, and not cause pressure on the attached sides of your pool.

2. Water levels. We touched on these above. The best rule of thumb is to drain your water just below your skimmer opening. This way you can remove pipework and store it out of cold. You can drain a little more if you wish but not much. Remember, it will be hot and sunny in the spring, you will need to refill the pool and (in my area) water costs money, so I watch what I waste.

3. What type Of aboveground Pool Cover Do I Use? This depends on time of year mostly, and a bit on personal preference. I use a heavy duty aboveground swimming pool cover all year because I like the added benefit of keeping in my heat and reducing evaporation. I find my heater works less if I cover my pool, even in summer after the daily use.

I'm unique in my neighbourhood in that come winter, I do not use a aboveground pool winter cover but instead I leave my pool open. I top of the water, put in the chemicals and enjoy the beauty of the pool all winter long. I clean it about once per month and it keeps circulating. Many pool owners will have an aboveground pool solar cover for the summer, light but durable and easily removable. Then they have a heavy duty aboveground pool winter cover to seal the pool over in the winter time.

4. Does an aboveground Pool Cover add to security? You bet it does. There are aboveground pool winter covers that attach and secure to all sides of your pool. Once in place, an adult can walk on top of them without sinking into the water. This provides a huge piece of mind for anyone worried about children or pets entering the pool.

5. Repair and Maintain that aboveground pool cover. Mary just asked the following question: "I have a 2 foot tear along a seam in the tarp. Any ideas on how to repair this so it wont tear again?"

Here is what we suggest. Most pool supply stores will carry a tape just for this purpose. Make sure both sides are dry and clean and apply the tape. It is stronger than even duct tape, which eventually breaks down from the chemicals. Of course, remember the proper install of the cover, resting on the water below, so you do not get an un-natural strain on your aboveground pool cover.

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