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Should an Above-Ground Pool Cover be Tight? How Tight it Needs to Be

Protecting your above-ground pool during the off-season is critical to a long and healthy life for the pool. By neglecting the tautness of the cover, you can expose it to bacteria and leaves that could taint the water and filtration system for years to come. So how tight should an above-ground pool cover be?

An above-ground pool cover should be tight enough to allow air to be trapped underneath and sturdy enough to handle heaps of snow and leaves. In addition, it must be tight enough that children or animals aren’t tempted to climb inside.

Knowing how to care for your above-ground pool during the winter can be confusing for first-time pool owners or seasoned veterans with a new pool. But don’t let that stop you from protecting your investment. So read on and learn how tight and above-ground pool cover should be.

How Tight Should an Above-Ground Pool Cover Be?

Your pool cover is the only barrier between keeping your pool ready for the season and a horde of sticks, leaves, and snow piles. Ensuring it is adequately installed gives you a better chance of keeping the pool clean and in summer shape.

Pool Covers Should be Functional

For some, a pool cover is used to keep out the leaves and limbs. For others, the cover serves as a way to protect their families and pets from sudden immersion and possible drowning. A cover has other functions that allow you to be safe while protecting the pool and your yard.

Some of the functions of a pool cover are as follows:

  • Prevent Pooling – The most significant thing with above-ground pools is the pooling on the surface. This excess water could be hard on blow-up ring pools and crush the walls of a larger pool. In the winter, if there’s an excess of snow, removing the piles from the center of the pool cover is advised.
  • No Gaps – Another thing the pool cover must do is leave no gaps for anyone to get into. The leaves and limbs falling off the trees are only part of the problems, as animals and small children could climb into the pool and become trapped. The pool cover should leave no gaps between the pool’s edge and the water’s surface.
  • Protection – The pool cover must protect the water and the pool from damage and debris. Above-ground pools need special protection as the walls, or air ring could be susceptible to cold weather. The cover also protects the filter by keeping out large particles that could destroy the workings of a pool filtration system.

An above-ground pool cover should be functional and prevent accidents with pets and kids. In addition, the cover should be able to repel leaves during the fall and handle tiny piles of snow in the winter.

If you want to keep your pool for a long time, you must ensure that your cover meets these requirements.

Here’s a video talking about how tight the cover needs to be:

Here’s a link to some Pool Accessories from Amazon and the highly recommended Sand Filter Pump to upgrade any above ground pool setup.

Ways to Ensure Your Above-Ground Pool Cover is Effective

You can do some things to ensure that your pool cover is keeping up its end of the bargain and protecting your pool. These tasks should be checked once a week during the off-season, and they will help the cover protect your above-ground pool.

Some of the things to do to ensure your pool cover is working are:

  • Wind Protection – Wind is hard on above-ground pool covers. If there are ripples in the connection around the pool, you can expect a strong wind will whisk the cover off. To protect against the wind you need to attach clips or weights to hold the cover in place.
  • Air Space – There should be air between the water and the cover. This space should be filled with a float or other device that will keep the center of the cover higher than the sides. This device prevents piling snow and water that could collapse above-ground pool walls.
  • Pool Water – You should check the pool water to ensure you haven’t dropped the level or lost gallons. You should pump in freshwater if the level has fallen over six inches. A six-inch gap in the water level could see a dangerous amount of snow or water that could compromise the walls.
  • Sweep it Off – One of the best ways to protect your above-ground pool cover is to keep it swept off. The snow or leaves that fall into the middle need to be removed with a pool brush or rake daily. Keeping weight out of the center of the cover is critical to ensuring the cover protects the pool correctly.
  • Watch the Cover – Once you have all your other protection work, you should remember to watch the cover and ensure that all the other portions are still in working order. If the wind has moved, the cover or leaves have begun to pile up; you should fix any problems before moving on.

By doing the above tasks for your above-ground pool cover regularly, you give it the best chance to fight off leaves and debris that could harm the pool filter and shorten the life of your pool. In addition, the clean and secure pool cover also ensures your pool’s walls are sturdy and not overburdened.

Here’s a link to some Pool Accessories from Amazon and the highly recommended Sand Filter Pump to upgrade any above ground pool setup.


An above-ground pool cover should be tight enough to close any gaps in the connection while being tight enough to hold up excess debris or snow.

In addition, if a pet sneaks out onto the cover, it must be strong enough to support the weight of someone to retrieve it. Also, it must allow air space for the cover to flex as needed.

Above-ground pool covers must be checked regularly to ensure they are doing their job for the pool. If not, you can expect walls that aren’t working correctly and a water level that could become unsafe for you and your property. In addition, by checking on your above-ground pool cover, you ensure your pool is there for many summers.

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