How To Keep Pool Cover From Sagging 101

blue pool cover on an inground pool with a dip and puddle in it

If you just covered your pool and you notice the cover is sagging, you may wonder if something’s wrong.  Is there anything you can do?  If you’re wondering how to keep pool cover from sagging, there are a few tricks. In this article, we’ll suggest a methods.  Also, depending on the cover type, you may be happy to learn it’s totally normal in many cases for the cover to sag.  

Why Is Your Pool Cover Sagging?

So why do pool covers sag?  This depends on the type of pool cover.  But for the most common, with the above ground pool cover, the weight of the cover itself will wind up resting on the surface of the water if you don’t pull it taut.  It’s not always the best thing for you to do to pull it tighter than it needs to be.  What you want to do on an above ground pool cover is to attach some weights around the perimeter of the pool. This will keep the cover in place prevent it from blowing off.  Alternatively, you can attach the cover to embedded anchors. Only do this if your pool is designed to receive them.  

The main goal, is to keep the pool covered, not to make the cover look fantastic.  If you have the cover pulled tight, there is a lot of force being exerted onto the walls of the pool.  Likewise, when pulled tight there is a lot of force being absorbed by the cover itself.  As the water level changes, or the water freezes and thaws, your cover can develop a tear if it’s under tension too tightly against the pool walls.

How To Keep Pool Cover From Sagging On Above Ground Pools

Ultimately, when we’re talking about an above ground pool cover and how to keep pool cover from sagging, it’s best not to worry about it unless there’s a risk of the cover blowing off

Some people like to throw an inflatable tube or pool toy in the middle of the pool under the cover to keep water from building up at the center of the cover from rain or snow.  If you do this, know that the pool toy will likely not be in the best of shape come spring.  However, it can be really nice to just pump the water off the cover at the perimeter instead of dealing with pumping it off the center, so feel free to give it a try.

How To Keep Pool Cover From Sagging On A Gunite Pool

If you have an automatic pool cover on a gunite pool, that’s another story. When looking at your automatic cover, it’s not uncommon to ask yourself how to keep pool cover from sagging?  Automatic covers should only be used during the swim season, then retracted for the winter. Unless of course you are keeping your pool open all winter. 

After you cover the pool with an automatic cover, you really must place the rainwater pump onto the cover.  This makes sure you can remove the water from the surface. It also lets you reduce the risk of being unable to open the pool when you want to use it.  You must remove the water. Although, the cover needs to be able to have water land on top of it without pulling against the tracks at the side of the pool.

Automatic pool covers often look like they’re sagging, when in reality they wouldn’t work at all if they were pulled tight.  There will always be wrinkles and loose areas of the cover fabric.  If the cover were pulled tight from the two tracks and leading edge bar, the friction would be too great at the tracks. Then, the cover would pull loose.  These covers rely on the ability of the water to support the weight of the automatic cover fabric. Therefore, they can often look loose.

How To Keep Winter Pool Cover From Sagging

With winter safety covers, a loose cover is a big issue.  When considering how to keep pool cover from sagging with relation to safety covers, it’s important to make sure these are tight.  If a winter safety cover is too loose, it can become dangerous if anyone finds themselves in the middle of the pool area.  They could wind up in a few feet of water if the cover is too loose!  Now it’s not uncommon to get your feet wet if you were to go out on a winter safety cover. However, you shouldn’t be getting soaked, that’s for sure.

It’s important to tighten each individual strap as you install the cover as needed.  This is why we recommend using seasoned professional service companies for your openings and closings.  Installation of winter safety covers may seem simple enough, but there are some tricks you need to be aware of if you want to tighten the cover. 

First, don’t even try to tighten the straps when they are in tension.  You’ll have zero luck doing so, so don’t even try.  Next, don’t try to tighten too much.  Maybe an additional inch or two of strap at the most as you go around the pool.  You don’t want to over tighten and lead yourself into a situation where you can’t get the cover on at all.  Once you have the cover on, go around and check the spring compression. Check them to see if there’s any more you should tighten.

backyard pool showing how to keep pool cover from sagging with a green pool cover with a puddle of water in the middle

How To Keep Pool Cover From Sagging Summary

So when figuring out how to keep pool cover from sagging, it truly depends on the type of cover you are talking about.  Perhaps you are talking about the winter safety cover. In that case you need to take some corrective action to make your pool cover safe.  If you’re talking about an above ground impervious cover, don’t sweat the saggy cover. It’s not causing any issues in most cases. Furthermore, it’s likely better to be sagging than not. 

If you have an automatic pool cover, you should have a saggy look to it when it’s covering the pool.  If you are unsure, or have any questions, you can always seek help. Always contact the manufacturer directly and send them some photos.  They’d be glad to give you some pointers on what you should do if anything, to correct the issue.