How To Choose a Winter Pool Cover

Dale KreviazukBlog, Pool 101

What Every Winnipeg Pool Owner MUST Know About Winter Pool Covers

As the cold weather rolls in and the swimsuits and sunscreen are replaced by parkas and scarves, it sadly becomes time to break out your winter pool covers in Canada. Winters can be brutal, and can cause serious damage to your pool if not closed properly. If you’ve done your homework, you know that the final step in closing your pool is outfitting it with a winter pool cover. But what kind?

The options out there for winter pool covers can be a bit overwhelming, from mesh and vinyl, hard and soft, to automatic or manual. And the prices can vary just as much. All of these options achieve the same outcome – protecting your pool from the elements. But they are not all created equal. You need to consider the performance, durability and affordability of each when choosing which pool cover is best for the harsh Canadian winters.

Standard Tarp Covers

Standard pool covers are the most basic option in protecting your pool from the elements year-round. The tarpaulin-like material loosely covers the pool’s surface and is held down by water bags.


Standard pool covers are the least durable, lasting only a few seasons, but they do a fine job of keeping out leaves, debris and snow from your pool. The solid varieties, opposed to mesh, also keep out any unwanted water keeping your pool in pristine condition for the next sunny season. To remove accumulated water off your pool cover, you will need to use a pump in spring time.


($) Standard pool covers are the cheapest option, and therefore the best option if cost is an issue.


Since these pool covers are held in place by water bags, they can be the most difficult to wrangle into place and secure. If you can overlook that one drawback, these conventional pool covers are a suitable option for a winter pool cover in Canada.

Fitted Vinyl Covers

These covers are fitted just for your pool, and are installed in a special groove in the pool coping.


Fitted vinyl covers are much like conventional pool covers, requiring a water pump in the spring to remove excess water. They do a wonderful job of keeping out all kinds of weather from bugs and rainwater to leaves and snow, and are also fairly safe since the cover is contained within the pool, preventing any openings on the pool edge.


($$) Still a very reasonable price, fitted vinyl covers just require a little extra for preparing the tracks in which your cover will rest.


You get the same benefits from a fitted vinyl pool cover as you do from a standard pool cover. The one extra benefit is easier installation and a cleaner look. No more water bags, no more wrestling with getting your cover in place on a windy day. The special grooves contained within the pool make installation much easier, and give your pool a more presentable appearance for the long winter.

Pool Safety Covers

Pool safety covers are designed almost like a trampoline. The mesh and solid varieties are attached to small brass anchors that are permanently installed in the concrete deck of the pool edge. The covers are pulled tight across the surface by stainless steel springs.


Because of its trampoline-like design, pool safety covers are strong enough to walk on. Not only does this make for an extremely safe design for your children and pets, hence the name, it also means that a buildup of snow won’t damage or sag your cover. Brass attachments on the side of the pool maintain a taut, secure fit to help prevent sagging while at the same time making it extremely difficult for curious children to take a peak underneath. As snow builds up, the springs compress to hold the load, and the cover will ultimately rest on your frozen pool water below. When it comes time to winterize your pool, it should only take two people about 10-15 minutes to install the cover, and once you reopen the pool, the brass attachments on the side of the pool can simply be screwed down and out of the way.

Our pool safety covers are made of a heavy-duty UV-treated fabric making them highly durable. We offer a 15-year pro-rated warranty on all our pool safety covers, so you know your winter pool cover will withstand many Canadian winters.


($$-$$$) Safety covers are more expensive than standard pool covers, but with the added expense comes the assurance that your cover will keep your families safe and your pool in pristine condition when the snow finally melts.


If safety and limited upkeep is what you’re looking for in a winter pool cover, a safety cover will certainly meet your needs. Whether you are building a new pool or renovating your current one, installing the mechanics for a pool safety cover is a cinch. And the ease of installing your cover as you winterize your pool is just as easy. Not only will you be able to use this cover in the wintertime, but temporarily closing your pool while you’re on vacation won’t be as tedious and time consuming as some conventional covers.

Fully Automatic Covers

Made from a flexible, vinyl material, automatic pool covers are extended and retracted by an electric motor from a housing box located at one end of your pool. Hidden special ropes inside the pool coping extend the cover, and a special track system at the edge of your pool creates an impenetrable barrier along the edges. The cover rests atop the water, creating a water-bed effect.


With a click of a button, your pool can be covered or uncovered in less than a minute. Not only does that eliminate the hassle of pulling out your old pool cover, securing the edges and hoping it stays put for the winter, but it means you can protect your pool whenever you desire. If bad weather is predicted in the Summer, or your daughter is having a birthday party and the pool is a concern, it can be covered in a matter of seconds with no trouble.

Automatic covers are highly durable, with reinforced vinyl that has been heat stitched, not sewn, and metal components made of stainless steel, an improvement from the industry standard of aluminum.


($$$-$$$$) Automatic pool covers carry the biggest price tag due to the mechanics of the design.


You get what you pay for. And in the case of automatic pool covers, you get the easiest installation out there and the peace of mind of an extremely safe design. The one drawback, which is actually a deal breaker for winterizing your pool, is that these covers are not intended for wintertime use. As you winterize, you lower your pool’s water. But automatic covers are intended to rest on the water surface, essentially making these obsolete as cold weather approaches.

To learn about other options for your pool cover, watch our video about winter pool covers:

To learn more about our Canadian winter pool covers and how we can help install your pool cover, call UV Pools today! We can help you choose the right winter pool cover to meet your needs and budget.

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