How To Keep Pool Cover From Sagging? 10 SECRET Methods!

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Pool covers for in-ground or above-ground pool is an excellent way to keep your swimming area clean and safe. It also protects it against evaporation, thereby saving you money on water bills. But, what happens if one has a sagging pool cover?

A sagging pool cover causes water to accumulate, turning a breeding ground for bugs like mosquitoes while still encouraging mold and mildew growth….Ewwwwwwww!

Now, there are certain actions you can take at the moment to fix and prevent sagging pool covers, and I will cover these methods in this article.

But, first, let me tell you how I was able to fix my issue.

Here is how to keep above ground pool cover from sagging, in my experience:

  • I took one of those “blue barrels”, and filled it bottom with concrete [1 or 2 bags worth to make it stay upright like a bouey]. I got the barrels free from my local car wash.
  • Next, cut out a 4” x4” hole in the top and slide a ~5′ 4×4 in there. Silicone the heck out of that.
  • Then, I screwed and attached an old saucer type (upside-down dome) snow sled to the top of the 4×4. Throw on some carpet or something for padding on top of that so the screws don’t rip the liner.
  • Next, I put the new buoey in the center and tied it off to the top rail via drilled holes in the top “lip” of the barrel.
  • Then, I put used bleach bottles around the edge to keep it all down.
  • I finished by using “pool wrap” which is saran wrap basically for the outside edge of the cover to keep the wind from finding its way up there.

Extra Note: To keep the true dome shape if your above pool still sags, add 9 or maybe even 12 total sections of rope to support the mid sections of the cover when tying off the barrel to keep it centered.

How do you keep a Pool Cover from Sagging? Need more ideas? Try these [ Each point is explained further below]:

  • Keep your cover center higher than the sides [always]
  • Secure outer edge with water blocks or bags
  • Utilize a Pool Pillow underneath the Cover for balance.
  • Fill H2O Bags or Blocks 3/4 full
  • Adjust sagging on cover fast
  • Switch to a Pool Safety Cover
  • Build a Pool Cover Support Structure for Above/Inground Pool
  • Use a Portable Pool Cover Pump

What Causes a Pool Cover to Sag?

Here are some causes of pool cover sagging:

  • Low Water Level

A leakage or evaporation will cause your pool cover to start sagging. Most times, these two culprits cause your water to drop below the top of the pool cover, especially when you have an above-top swimming pool.

If you run an inground pool, you may also have a problem with groundwater seeping into your pool, which can cause the water level to drop too.

  • Ice and Snow

Ice and snow accumulation is another popular cause of a sagging pool cover. So, if you reside in an area that gets lots of snow, it’s crucial to frequently take out snow from your pool cover.

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Otherwise, the weight of the snow can and will cause your pool cover to sag. An easy way to prevent the build-up of ice and snow is to invest in an Air Pillow for the winter season.

  • Old Pool Cover

Examine all parts of the pool cover. If there are signs of wear and tear or the material is too soft then it may be time to replace it.

A new pool cover will be more durable and less likely to sag. It is normal for old pool covers to sag, so we recommend replacing it.

The type of pool cover you own will determine how frequently you will need to replace it.

  • Improper Installation

An improper installation could cause a pool cover to sag. Most pool covers will begin to sag at the middle or at the edges when incorrectly installed.

This is usually caused by too much tension on one side of the cover or not enough on the other side.

  • Improper Size

A pool cover that is too large will sag in the middle. SO, make sure the cover is sized correctly for your pool.

Oversized pool covers will also be bashed around when they come under strong winds.

  • Too Much Weight on the Cover

If you place too much weight on the cover, it will begin to sag. This is typically caused by people sitting or walking on the cover.

Remember, a pool cover is meant to be used for safety. It’s essential to ensure that no human or pet sits or walks on it.

  • Trash and Debris

Debris and trash will accumulate on top of the cover from time to time and it is your job to clean them up.

If it happens often, and you don’t clean regularly, it could cause your pool cover to sag.

In order to not have debris built up, it is a smart option to purchase a pool cover pump, which filters all of the debris and protects your pool cover in the off-season.

How To Spot A Sagging Pool Cover

Watch out for the formation of a dip in the pool cover towards the center of your pool.

  • Monitor the pool or pool cover for any sign of leaking
  • Search for a build-up of water above the surface of your pool cover at the point at which it dips could indicate an issue.
  • If it is old and has wear and tear.

I advise removing any build-up of debris and dirt before checking your pool cover for best results.

How To Keep Pool Cover From Sagging

How to Keep Your Pool Cover From Sagging?

An excellent pool cover will save you money on water bills, maintain your pool water temperature, and not cause any sagging.

Do the following to keep your pool cover from sagging:

  • Check the Water Level Regularly

A low water level can be the no.1 reason your pool cover is sagging.

So, make it a habit to frequently check the water level in your pool at least once in a week.

Also, if you notice that the water level has dropped, add in more water to the pool to balance things up.

  • Fix Leaks Right Away

I always advise pool owners to check for leaks every week. Once you identify any, the next step is to fix it up.

A leaking pool will cause the water level to drop and the result of this is a sagging pool cover. So, check for leaks around the pool deck, plumbing fixtures, skimmer box, and other potential leak sources.

  • Replace Old Pool Cover

Do you have an old pool cover? Then its almost time to replace it.

An old pool cover can become an issue as it begins to slowly sag. If you have been using a pool cover for more than five years, then it is time to purchase a new one.

  • Make Sure the Cover is the Right Size

Sagging pool covers may also be due to incorrect sizing. Make sure you buy a pool cover that is the right size for your pool. A too-small cover will sag, while a too-large cover can blow off in strong winds.

  • Weigh Down the Cover

An effective way of keeping a pool cover from sagging is to weigh it down using water bags, bricks, or sandbags.

Place these weights evenly around the pool covers, so it doesn’t sag in a single spot.

  • Properly Install the Cover

It is crucial you properly follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the manual as you install the cover.

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Failure to do this could result in a sagging pool.

A quick fix to improperly installed pool cover involves adjusting the tension. You can easily do this by loosening or tightening the straps that hold the cover in place.

You may need someone to help you do this so that the cover is evenly tensioned on all sides.

  • Distribute the Weight Evenly (Above-Ground Pools Only)

Do you own an above-ground pool? Try placing a board on top of the cover then.

This will help it spread the weight evenly and prevent the cover from sagging.

ALSO SEE: How To Cover An Above Ground Pool With A Deck

How to Keep in Ground Pool Cover From Sagging

  • Keep the middle of the pool cover higher than the sidewalls of the pool (as much as you can).

Try Bradley Heavy Duty Truck Inner Tubes! They are durable and will keep your pool cover-up.

  • You should secure the pool cover. For this, you need to use the proper heavy gauge water bags for the entire width and length of the pool cover to secure the cover on the pool (I recommend using these Buffalo Blizzard Blocks 6 Pack | Secures Winter Pool Cover to Oval or Rectangle Swimming Pools with Ultra Strong Water Blocks
  • Check it every now and then for sagging or movement, especially after a storm

How to Keep Above Ground Pool Cover From Sagging

To prevent sagging in your above ground pool, try this:

  • Always aim to keep the middle section of Your Pool Cover higher than the Sides

By doing this, you’re able to prevent water from collecting at the sides.

This is a great method to try out if you want to keep water off the pool cover!

  • Utilize heavy Objects

Adding heavy objects to keep the edges in pace is a great move.

Yes, you should add weights to the outer edges of your pool cover to prevent it from suffering looseness and sagging after.

I recommend using proper heavy gauge water bags to line the width and length of your pool.

  • Fix-It As Soon As You See It

Remember, a stitch in time saves nine.

As soon as the problem is spotted, you need to fix it immediately to prevent more damage.

This will ensure that whatever is causing it to sag doesn’t get to a stage where the damage done becomes too hard to rectify.

  • Opt for A Portable Pool Cover

Yes! We advise you to try out portable poo covers since they are easy to fit securely and have an almost zero chance of sagging.

You can easily manipulate them since they’re portable.

  • Have A Support Structure in Place

You should have a support structure in place to further sort the issue.

You will need to lay an additional pole across the middle of your pool and create a frame with two crossbars.

This method also works well for keeping covers on above-ground pools from sagging.

  • Use Pool Pillows

You can use a pool pillow that is at least a third of the pool cover size and that’s cut perfectly to size to prevent your cover from sagging.

However, you must bear in mind that too much exposure to sunlight will cause the pillows to lose shape.

The Yankee Pool Pillow comes highly recommended. It’s highly durable and is said to be able to withstand frosty winters.

  • Use H2O Bags

Yes, you can fill your H2O bags until they’re at least 3-quarters full. If the bags become adequately filled, they will prevent your pool cover from sagging as they will make the covers heavier.

This ensures that the pool cover remains secure.

The Robelle Deluxe Winter Water Tube is a great option to try out.

Make sure your H2O bags are only filled up three-quarters of the way to prepare for freezing. If the bags freeze when they’re filled with water, they’ll break.

  • Use A Pool Safety Cover

You can easily install pool safety covers to prevent dirt and debris from making their way into your pool.

Although more expensive than regular pool covers, pool safety covers last quite a long time and work well to keep kids and animals safe around the pool.

  • Install An Umbrella On Your Pool Cover

Doing this shields your pool from precipitation. This prevents it from soaking into the plastic material and causing saggy covers.

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An added benefit of using a pool umbrella is that it also works well to put a shade over your swimming pool.

How to Keep an Automatic Pool Cover from Sagging

  • Winterize your pool correctly
  • Ensure the water level drops no lower than 18 inches below the pool deck, or halfway up your skimmer opening.
  • Keep a close eye on it all through summer.
  • Use winter plugs for jets and drains to keep the water level remain constant.
  • Regularly use a pool cover pump to remove water and melted snow from on top of your automatic pool cover.
  • Don’t attempt to scrape the snow or water off, as this can damage your cover.

How to Keep a Mesh Pool Cover from Sagging

  • Maintain proper water levels year-round.
  • Check the tightness of the springs when you put them on.
  • If snow or water accumulates, use a leaf blower to remove it, sprinkle pool salt across the cover to assist with melting snow, and again, utilize a pool cover pump.

How to Keep a Leaf Pool Cover from Sagging

  • Use pool pillows
  • Try DIY solutions like floating plastic rain barrels. Place them underneath the pool cover to help
  • Use an automatic or mesh cover

How to Get Water Off Pool Cover Without a Pump

Siphoning water off the cover or pumping it off is a great way of saving your pool cover and preventing it from freezing.

Do the following to get water off the pool cover without a pump:

  • Use a wet vac suction or hose or discharge hose and weight one end and fill the hose from the other end or fill it with the garden hose and prime it that way.
  • Next, throw the weighted end towards the middle of the cover where most of the water has been collecting and drop the other end on the ground and natural suction will flow out towards your yard away from the pool.
  • Keep the center of the cover high than the edge. This will drain any water that falls on the cover from collecting on top.

Pool Cover Support Structure

  • Above Ground Structure Pool Cover

Here is an idea for an aboveground pool cover support structure idea:

  • Make a centerpiece by using two 1 1/2-inch PVC pieces screwed together
  • Next, cut to adjust the height of the pool
  • Measure and cut cross pieces that run to the outer edge of the pool’s perimeter.
  • Soften up the PVC with a Butane Torch and then insert it into the Centerpiece
  • Trim the overhang ends on the edge of the walls of the pool
  • Cut lengths of PVC from the 90’s to the ground for more support


  • Inground Pool Cover Support Structure

Here is an idea for an inground pool cover support structure idea:

  • Use thinner PVC piping with PVC fittings as frame and a Tarp as running cover the inground pool to keep it from falling back into the pool.

You get a sturdy cover and enjoy protection from the harsh elements of Winter.

How Tight Should Your Pool Cover Be?

Check the owner’s manual or manufacturer website, or speak to a professional to get an idea of how tight your pool cover needs to be.

In my experience, not all pool covers should be pulled tight. In fact, lots of pool owners are meant to have a little bit of slack in them.

The slack expands and contracts as the temperature changes. If the cover is too tight, with no room for the cover to contract and expand, it will put too much stress on the seams and cause them to fail.

But, if your pool cover is sagging more than an inch or two, it’s time to take action

Should My Pool Cover Touch the Water?

Yes! Your pool cover should touch the water.

Pool covers are purposed to touch your water while still protecting it.

Your pool’s water level should never be below 18 inches from the top and it should always be filled when covered.

What do You Put Under A Pool Cover?

I put air pillows under my pool cover.

An air pillow works to prevent water from pooling in the middle of my cover. It also makes sure that the weight of the water is distributed around and the pool cover doesn’t sag or suffer tears.

What can I use instead of a pool pillow?

The following are alternatives to a pool pillow: Yoga balls, tire tubes, and regular innertubes.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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