How To Properly Cover Your Above Ground Pool For The Winter

As the temperatures become colder and the swimming season comes to an end, it will be time to close your swimming pool for the winter months. During this time you will want to have your pool covered so that unwanted leaves, dirt and debris does not enter your pools water.

Be sure you have help when it comes to placing the cover over the top of the pool, as the wind and inability to hold onto the cover all around the pools water will cause the pool cover to fall in the water. When this happens it will be weighted toward the bottom and be too heavy for you to lift.

When this happens you will likely be forced to remove the entire cover and try once again to place it over the water without it being sunken to the bottom.

To cover your above ground pool for the winter first place an air pillow on the center of the water. Next with the help of a friend on all sides of the pool carefully place the cover over the water and wrap the sides over the edge of the pool. Pull the provided cable to make it snug around the pools walls and latch it in place.

Simple Steps

  1. Place an air pillow in the center of the water.
  2. Weave the cable in and out of the holes around the edge of the swimming pool cover.
  3. With the help of at least 1 or 2 other people place the cover over the top of the pools water.
  4. Wrap the cover over the edges evenly around the entire pool.
  5. Tighten the pool cable with the wench that is usually provided with the cover until it is completely tight.
  6. Place a winter cover seal around the pool by wrapping it several times around the pool until the roll is gone. This step is optional, but will help reduce debris from accessing the pools water and will make the cover even more secure.

Prepping Your Pool For Closing

If you are covering your pool for several months be sure you have completed all the steps necessary before doing this. This includes vacuuming, sanitizing and making sure it is the proper time to cover your pools water.

Covering your pool too early and not taking the necessary steps prior to placing a tarp over your pool can have negative effects at the beginning of the following season.

I talk about the steps you should follow at the end of every season in my article about closing your swimming pool. Be sure you follow all those steps and you will be ready to place the cover over the pool and have no worries until swimming season returns.

Benefits Of An Air Pillow

While not actually required, it is recommended to place an air pillow on the swimming pools water before topping it with a pool cover. This makes the center of the pool raised in the center by the pillow and will help reduce stress on the side walls as precipitation falls on the cover during the off-season.

As snow, ice and rain accumulates on the cover you can have hundreds of pounds of weight endured by the cover which in turn is added to your pools sides. This can and will cause stress on the cover as well as the pool itself.

If you do not have an air pillow readily available you can skip this step, but for very little you can purchase one to make the closing process of your swimming pool top notch and not worry about several inches of water adding unnecessary weight to your side walls.

You can attach a string on both sides of the air pillow as to attach each side of the string to your pool wall to help keep it in the center of the pool, or you can have it lay freely on top of the water.

Pool Cover Cable

Your new pool cover most likely will come with a cable. The cable will need to be attached to the cover prior to installing your cover over the pool.

You can easily achieve this by weaving the cable in and out throughout the eye holes along the edge of the cover. Be sure not to skip any holes and complete this step all the way around the cover.

The cable will be used after the cover is over the pool edges to tighten the cover and prevent it from coming loose as it will hold the cover tightly in place.

Winter Seal Cover

Winter seal cover over the edge of an above ground swimming pool

As a final touch you can add a seal around the edges of your swimming pool which does just that. It will seal your pool where wind usually can blow dust, dirt, grass, etc. into your water.

You simply grab a roll and have a friend hold it while you walk in circles around the pool wrapping it on the edge of the pool until the roll is completely gone. This can take anywhere from 3 to 6 laps depending on the pool and roll size.

The great benefit of this is keeping unwanted junk out of the water as well as adding an extra layer of security to your pools cover.

There have been some people that have said they had no success with a winter cover seal as the wind blew it off during a hefty wind storm. I have not experienced that with the Blue Wave Winter Seal Cover and if it is done correctly, it should withstand even the strongest winds and not come off during the swimming pools off-season.

What Pool Cover To Buy?

Pool covers will typically last anywhere from a few years to over 5 depending on how well they are taken care of. If you spend an extraordinary amount on one does not guarantee that it will last much longer and the lower priced ones get the job done just as good.

I am using the Robelle 24 foot cover for my pool and it works perfectly fine. You however will need to get one that is the correct size for your pool. The cover will also be slightly larger than the size needed so that you will have no worries of it fitting your pool if you purchase the size needed.

My advice is get one that is affordable and don’t drop a fortune on a pool cover. It could last just a couple seasons, but will likely last several no mater which one you buy if put away during the summer in a safe location after use.


Covering your pool is an essential step when you will not be using it due to colder temperatures. Get a decent, not overly expensive cover, an air pillow and a friend to help.

Cover your pool and let it set for a few months until it is time to get it ready for pool season next summer. Be sure and check out my pool closing tips post and keep on swimming.

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