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    Winter Pool Cover Repairs

    September 28, 2016

    winter pool cover repairs

    Can you imagine looking at your pool cover and seeing a hole in the cover? Panic sets in and then reality takes over. "What do I do?!" Whether it is a water tube winter cover or a safety cover, the repair would differ depending on how immense the tear or rip is. "Should I fix it now, or wait until spring?" Read on, dear reader...


    winter pool cover patchIf it is a winter cover weighed down by water tubes, and the tear is accessible, a temporary solution would be to repair it. You could use duct tape, or for permanent repairs, use a pool cover patch kit. It's a simple peel-and-stick process. Just be sure the surface is dry when the patch is added, and for greater strength, patch the cover on both sides.

    If the tear or hole is in the middle of a solid pool cover, you may be better off to wait until spring to try and repair it. If the damage is a large tear or hole, then you will have to wait until spring for the cover to thaw. Move the cover over the pool deck to patch it. This way, the cover will be dry for the patch or tape to adhere properly.


    safety cover patch kitA safety cover is much easier to repair as long as the tear or rip is not too large. The most common tears on a safety cover could be at the stress points which are typically the corners. A temporary fix could be to use duct tape, but you're better off with a real safety cover patch kit, which will patch the hole and match the color. To repair a mesh cover during winter, just loosen the springs on one side of the cover, and pull the cover to the other side, where you can patch the cover over the pool deck.

    If the hole is small, and you can't reach the area to repair it, then just wait until spring. If a safety cover needs extensive repair, such as panel or strap replacements, just wait. When you take the cover off in the spring, you can send it to the manufacturer for a factory repair. Often times they will repair it at a reasonable cost. If it is beyond repair, the cover company will tell you it needs to be replaced.


    The ramifications of not repairing a tear in the cover - especially when the area is still repairable - is not that surprising. The tear or hole will only continue to get larger and larger until the cover is non-repairable and needing replacement.

    solid pool coverFor winter covers that float on the surface, the water will seep up through the tears and accumulate on the top of the cover. With enough weight on top, this could potentially pull the cover into the pool. Or, equally as bad, you can end up accidentally pumping the pool water out with the cover pump pulling the water through the holes in the cover! Over the years, I can't tell you how many times I have seen winter covers pulled into the pool, or small cover holes opening up into large tears, resulting in tons of gunk spilling into the pool. What a mess!

    A safety cover has a tight weave that helps prevent easy spreading of the material. Winter ice and summer sun can, however, cause the exposed fiber ends to fray, which opens up the hole more. It's best to patch pool cover holes right away, even if they do not seem to be spreading. This helps to keep out sunlight, debris and insects.


    The best time to consider replacing your cover is either when you first open the pool or before it is time to close the pool. The cover's age and the amount of visible wear and tear will help determine whether to replace it now or wait. However, do not make the mistake that I often hear from pool owners. "Oh, we can get one more year out of it!." A weak cover is susceptible to winter storms, meaning it could fail during the middle of winter. If it does, it will be a nightmare to remove and replace.


    Winterized pools should be covered. Even unused sunbelt pools gain savings benefits from covering during the off-season, blocking out the sun and debris. A safety cover also has huge safety benefits in addition to good looks.

    An uncovered pool may bring fading or staining to the pool interior, not to mention the cleanup in the spring. The only time I recommend to remove the cover would be if the pool has a large leak that can't be fixed during winter. But even then, I would still make sure the pool is cleaned and chemically balanced regularly.


    The best way to prevent cover problems from occurring is to inspect your cover as you prepare to close the pool, and periodically check it throughout the winter. If you want a pool cover to last for a long time, it needs regular maintenance to keep it as clean and dry as possible during winter.

    When you open the pool, remove the cover to a clean area, hose it off, and let it dry before you put it back in a bag or bin for safe summer storage. Finally, if you routinely prune back overhanging trees from around your pool, you'll have a much cleaner pool cover with fewer cover holes to patch. Follow these simple rules and your pool cover will last for a long time.


    Home-Improvement-Neighbor-WilsonMy next door neighbor closed their pool in the fall with a tear in the corner and several small holes throughout the cover. I asked him before he installed the cover on the pool, "Are you going to repair it?" He replied, "It'll be OK for another year." I commented that I would really consider repairing it now rather than later. Once again he assured me, "It will be fine."

    After about a month of wind, rain and water building up on the cover, I noticed over the fence that the tear was getting larger and the holes were getting bigger. I joked to my neighbor that he should "pump the cesspool" (remove the water off and keep the cover clean of debris). He leaned over the fence and said, "Yeah, OK. I'll get it done this weekend. Can I borrow your patch kit?"

    solid pool cover that fell into the poolThat night, the rains came. It rained for four days straight, and before he could take care of it, the cover fell into the pool. What a mess! At this point the only thing he could do is pull the cover out, letting all the water and debris fall in the pool. He tried to get the debris out of the pool, but it was impossible with the weather. When it cleared, he spent the next month of weekends trying to clean the pool. Even now, it's still stained!

    The cover was unfixable and he had to buy a new pool cover to avoid another big mess in the pool come springtime. He was so aggravated with the "hole" situation. A simple repair before the closing the pool would have saved all this crime and punishment. Lesson learned, I guess.

    Bob Arnold
    SPP Pool Expert

    Blog Author