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pool safety winter covers
Pool coverings

Choosing the Right Winter Pool Cover

The end of Summer usually means that many pool owners are bringing out their winter pool covers. A pool cover is without doubt the best way to prevent dirt, debris, leaves, UV rays from creeping into the pool during the cold period, so choosing the right cover for your pool to protect it over the Winter is important. Here are some hints and tips to choosing the right cover for you.


covered swimming pool

Winter Pool Cover Options

Water Bag Covers

Made of lightweight, tarp-like material, water bag covers are held down at the edge of the pool by vinyl bags filled with water (for on-and-in-ground pools) or a cord-and-winch system (for above-ground pools).

These covers are the most economical option for in-ground and on-ground pools, and they are the only option for above-ground pools.

Water bag covers only come in rectangles. The bags themselves are available in 8′ or 10′ lengths and single or double chambers.

Double chamber water bags give some additional security in case of a chamber burst, which can occasionally happen. Bags should be filled they are around 3.4 full. This allows for water expansion when it freezes.

water bag pool cover

Lock-in covers

Lock-in covers are made of a lightweight tarp-like fabric or 16 mm vinyl. They can be used for on-ground and in-ground pools with double-track coping.

The cover is secured by inserting the cover bead into the top track of your double track coping, then held in place with T-bead or wedges.

Lock-in winter pool covers are custom fitted to your pool and can be any shape or size.

During the late-Spring, Summer, and early-Fall, vinyl lock-in covers must be stored in water when not in use. This protects them from shrinkage, and prevents them from becoming brittle.

lock-in winter pool cover

Leaf Net Covers

Leaf nets stop leaves and debris from falling onto your main winter cover and decomposing over the off-season. They are recommended for pools that have been covered with a water bag or lock-in cover, and make opening up the main cover much easier and far less mucky.

A leaf net should be installed over the top of your main winter cover, then secured with water bags before leaves start falling. The water bags should then be removed before first frost so no decomposition can take place. Then, just remove the leaf net and dispose of your leaves before they fall apart.

Leaf nets come in round/oval shapes (for above-ground pools) and square/rectangular shapes (for on-ground/in-ground pools).


leaf net pool cover

Mesh safety covers

This type of cover is made of durable, long lasting, polypropylene mesh fabric. They are available in a variety of sizes, weaves and colors. The mesh cover is secured over your pool using a system of straps and anchors installed into the pool deck, and installation rods are necessary to use mesh covers which has the added advantage of making them tamper proof. The mesh eliminates standing water by allowing water and melting snow or ice to drain through, while at the same time screening out dirt and debris. Installation rods are required to install and remove these covers, making them tamper-proof.

Mesh safety covers are generally for owners of in-ground pools who tend to start using their pools in early spring.  They’re also good for those who don’t have a large amount of leaves in their yard, and for whom safety is a concern.

Note that accurate measurement is required for manufacture and installation of this type of cover, so a professional should be consulted prior to purchase.

mesh safety pool cover

Solid safety covers

The most durable of all pool covers, solid safety covers are made of tough, long-lasting, light-to-heavy-duty vinyl.

This type of cover blocks all of the sun’s rays, minimizing algae growth and is mainly used by in-ground pool owners. Solid pool covers are all custom-made and not available ‘off-the-shelf’.

Solid winter pool covers are much less popular now, due to their high price point and their weight as they are cumbersome. Most pool safety covers these days are of the mesh variaty.

Note that accurate measurement is required for manufacture and installation of this type of cover, so a professional should be consulted prior to purchase.

solida safety winter pool cover

Choosing the right winter cover for your pool and your budget is an important step in the maintenance and safety of your pool, so if you need any help and/or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact Brad Roy Pool Designs.

Brad Roy Designs is a reseller of these pool cover manufacturers:



The ClearDeck Advantage: Save time. Save energy. Save money with ClearDeck pool covers.

 CoverStar Canada Pool Covers

Automatic pool safety covers: Safety and security. Built to last.

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