What Should You Use to Secure Your Pool Cover for the Winter?


Securing Pool Cover Options

Securing Pool Cover Options

Closing the pool for the winter is a tedious task, but it’s one that is definitely necessary.   When you live in a climate where you can’t use the pool during winter months, you need to make sure that you’re keeping it safe and ready to go once the weather warms up again.   So many people discuss the chemicals for winterizing, the various types of pool covers, and other elements involved in the process.   There’s one thing that people don’t talk a lot about that you should probably be aware of, however, when you are closing your pool.   What to use to weight or tie-down system your swimming pool cover for the winter.

 In Ground Pools

If you have an in ground pool, water tubes or bags are the best option.   These long, narrow tubes go around the edge of your pool cover to weigh it down and keep it in place throughout the winter months.   There are many sizes and styles to choose from when you need to buy these tubes, so you might have to shop around a little to get a better idea of what you can get.   You should always make sure that you’re only filling these about ¾ of the way because they will freeze and melt, causing expansion and potential bursting if they are overfilled.   These aren’t cheap, either, so you don’t want to waste them with careless mistakes.

You will probably also need stakes and tie downs to hold your pool cover in place, especially if the area immediately around your pool is grass, sand, landscaped or loose material.   Make sure that you have a setup that ensures that your pool stays covered and protected all winter long, no matter what kind of weather Mother Nature sends your way.   Some people prefer sand bags for the edges of their pool covers, and that’s definitely an option that you have.   You can buy sand bags for relatively cheap, and use them to weight the cover.   If you have patio umbrellas with weighted bases, you can even use those plastic bases as weights for your pool cover, creating a dual-purpose outdoor accessory to save time and money.

Figuring out how many sand bags, water tubes, or other weights you need depends on how big your pool is.   Typically, you will want these to go all the way around the outer edge so that no air can accidentally sneak in (or anything else).   You might have to measure the distances or know your pool size to buy the right amount of weights so that you can close your pool properly.

 Above Ground Pools

Above ground pools don’t typically use weights.   Because these pools are higher off the ground, the cover is usually tied down.   This can be done by getting a cover that ties to the pool frame itself, or by putting stakes and tie downs in the yard around the pool to hold the cover in place.   Sealing the winter cover is an excellent option for traditional high wind areas.    Every pool cover comes with different requirements, so you should check out your options to make sure that you’re getting the supplies that you need to keep your pool covered all winter long.

Above ground pools are a lot easier to close, typically, because they are less involved than in ground pools.   You will get cheaper supplies and have a faster closing, and you won’t spend as much on weights or tie downs because there will be less to secure.   It all depends on the type of pool that you have, however, so make sure that you do a little research so that you know what to expect.

Other Considerations

There are some cases where these are not the best options for securing your pool cover.   For example, if you use a skimmer type cover, you won’t need weights because of the way that the cover secures taut across the pool with stakes, tie downs, or other securing methods.   Read up on the cover that you are getting so that you know what is best for its specific installation in terms of keeping it in place for the next 6-8 months until you’re ready to open the pool again.

You should NEVER use concrete blocks, bricks, or other abrasive materials to secure your pool cover.   Not only are these not guaranteed to stay put or not crumble over the course of the winter, but they are also very likely to rip, pull, or damage the cover.   This can damage your pool, as well, which can lead to further problems.   If nothing else, they might cause the tubes or cover to get pulled into the pool during the winter, which can mean that you’ve got a big cleanup on your hands by the time spring rolls around.

Always be careful of what you’re doing when it comes to closing your pool.   Covers aren’t cheap and neither is the pool itself, so you have to be careful that you’re using the right products and methods so that you can protect your investments.

Shop Online for Selection and Deals

The best way to find the supplies that you need for winterizing your pool is to shop online.   Not only will you get more information about what you need and how to buy the right supplies, but you will find better deals and a much wider selection of pool products than you might be able to get locally.   If you shop around online, you can find all kinds of weights, water tubes, and other pool closing supplies that will make your job a lot easier and keep your pool in good shape until spring.

The internet offers you the chance to get better deals on pool supplies that you need.   Since you’re no longer limited to what’s available in your town, you can get a lot better products, as well.   Newer and more high-tech supplies and tools are out there and it’s easy to find the latest and greatest online.   With so much to choose from, winterizing your pool has never been easier.   Just remember to secure your cover correctly depending on the type of pool and cover that you have so that you can keep your pool safe and protect your cover from damage.


About Trey Collier

Grew up as a Military Brat. (Thanks Dad. Hats off to my Mom too as it took a special person to be married to someone in the military) Was a competitive swimmer in high school and in college. 11 years a Red Cross Volunteer, teaching kids & adults how to swim. ARC Water Safety Instructor and WSI Trainer, CPR Instructor/Trainer and Advance First Aid Instructor. Proud Dad of two beautiful girls.

11 thoughts on “What Should You Use to Secure Your Pool Cover for the Winter?”

  1. vito

    Hi Trey, I have a 18×33 oval above ground pool with a huge wooded deck surrounding it and for 30 years I have used above ground winter covers , I am getting older and would like to know if I can use a in-ground winter cover . How would I secure it to the wooded deck and not use a pillow, also what kind of cover and size and anchors .

    1. Trey Collier Post Author

      I’m guessing that the deck is too close to run the cover down the outside and prevents you from securing the cover to the pool with a cable and winch as they were designed. So you have tried to lay the cover on the deck and secure with water tubes (or other methods). Unfortunately, this allows the wind under the cover and this extra movement of the cover deteriorates its lifespan dramatically. Water Tubes laid on the top rail itself may help. Water bags or cover clips may help too but may not be possible in your setup. You could opt for a safety cover attached to wood deck anchors. They are more expensive than a winter cover but would last much longer too.

      Air pillow (ball or pool float) may still be needed to help protect the liner from ice crystals no matter what cover type you choose.

  2. Lauri

    I live in very windy, extremely frigid, Minnesota. I have a 24ft round above ground pool and it has an attached fence. How can I cover my pool and attach the cover? My liner is ruined after only two winters because it hasn’t been covered so when I order a new liner I want to order the cover with it as well.

    1. Trey Collier Post Author

      If you are talking about the fencing for an above ground pool like this, http://goo.gl/bRCUhN Then a standard winter cover can be installed nearly like normal. The cable and winch wont go down as far as the fencing will impede the overlap, but it will be under the top rail. Cover clips like these, http://goo.gl/jFGA3b , will help preventing wind from getting up under the cover.

  3. Shanewon

    I read your post and I found it amazing. This is such a great informative and meaningful post. Thanks for the sharing this useful information. Its really helpful.

  4. betty

    I can see the potted plants tipping over and spilling dirt or even falling on the cover causing it to collapse the cover and contaminating the water.

  5. brad cooper (@bradc44)

    Water tubes are probably the easiest to use. However, many of my customers use potted plants that are heavy enough to hold the cover. You can be creative to make your pool area more attractive during the winter time.

    1. Trey Collier Post Author

      Thanks Brad. That seems like a bunch of potted plants. Keep in mind the objective of the water tubes is 1) Hold the cover in place so it doesn’t sink to bottom of pool. 2) (Very Important) To minimize the wind under the cover as this leads to flapping and will cause wind damage to the cover.

      So for the 2nd reason alone, I’m picturing a pool with potted plants one after the other completely surrounding the pool. That’s a bunch of planting, feeding, pruning. But it could certainly work

      There are also Aqua Blocks http://www.backyardcitypools.com/pool-covers-accessories/BWP-Aqua-Bloks.htm as a water tube alternative. Not as pretty as plants, but sometimes more convenient than 8ft or 10ft tubes.

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