Do You Need to Cover Your Swimming Pool in the Winter

Unless you have a heated pool or live in a state such as Florida or Texas, chances are that you won’t be using your pool much during the winter months. So that begs the question of what do you do with your pool during this time? One question that keeps popping up is do you need to cover your swimming pool in the winter? There are a few good reasons that you should and we’ll dive into each one below.

While it is not required, covering your pool is strongly recommended. Without protecting your pool in the winter, you leave it open for algae and bacteria. You also create a huge safety concern if you have small children that are typically in your backyard. Covering your backyard will ensure your pool is ready for spring and summer weather after winter has passed.

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This article dives into why you should cover your swimming pool and the best time to cover your pool. We will also explain what will happen to your pool if you leave it uncovered as well as the benefits of covering your swimming pool during winter. 

Do You Need to Cover Your Swimming Pool in the Winter

There are various reasons why it is often recommended to cover your swimming pool. From protecting your pool to keeping your family safe, there are plenty of reasons to cover your pool. 


Drowning is one of the number one reasons that children under the age of four pass away. When your swimming pool is not in use over the winter months, you should cover it. Covering your pool can keep kids and even pets from accidentally slipping in. When you have a cover on your pool, you can minimize the worry of kids wandering too far without adult supervision. 

Besides kids, covering your pool will also keep pets from accidentally slipping in without understanding how to safely get out of the pool. 

Pool Upkeep 

Another reason to keep your pool covered is to minimize the work you have to do later. A pool cover will keep out the leaves and debris that fall from the trees in your yard. If you don’t have a pool cover, leaves will fall into your pool and, over time, will break down and can create mold or mildew in your pool. The longer your pool is uncovered during winter, the more time you will have to clean up your pool later. 

Life of Your Pool

The life of your pool can be significantly affected by the cold winter months. The cold weather can cause the sides of your pool to crack from freezing and thawing temperatures. By covering your pool, you can rest easy knowing that you will be able to enjoy your pool in the spring without any issues. 

When it comes to covering your pool, you want to make sure that it fits tightly on your pool to keep everything out of your pool. Pool covers are absolutely worth the investment, and they will save you a ton of time later on after winter has passed. 

What Happens if I Don’t Cover My Swimming Pool For Winter

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Many people decide not to cover their swimming pools, and while their pools may be okay in the spring, they often take a lot of maintenance before they are usable. 

If you don’t cover your pool, you will face a murky pool in the spring that will likely be full of leaves. 

Even if you don’t have a ton of trees in your yard, you could still be facing weekly tasks to keep your pool clean. If you don’t take care of leaves, they can stain the plaster of your pool. That simply means that you will need to be vigilant in keeping your pool free of debris. 

Without a pool cover and proper maintenance, leaves and debris will throw off the pool’s balance and add algae throughout your pool. Algae on the sides of your pool can wear on your pool surfaces and cause unsightly stains later. 

Also, before covering your pool, you often add chemicals to keep algae away. When you keep your pool open during the winter, those chemicals can be used quicker, leaving your pool at risk for buildup. 

When Should I Cover my Swimming Pool For Winter

When it comes down to it, knowing when to cover your swimming pool will depend on where you live in the country. If you live in one of the southern states, you can typically wait until later in the fall to cover your pool.

In the northern parts of the country, where it gets below freezing beginning in October, you should cover your pool in late September to be safe. The main thing to remember is to cover your pool before winter typically hits your area. 

What is the Purpose of a Winter Pool Cover 

A winter pool cover serves multiple purposes and is a great investment to extend the longevity of your pool. Pool covers are great to protect your pool from leaves and debris as well as keep your kids from accidentally falling in. 

Although it is not absolutely necessary to cover your pool, it is definitely recommended. A winter pool cover acts as a simple barrier keeping leaves out and algae and bacteria at bay. In the spring months, you will simply have to remove the cover, turn your filter back on, and replenish chemicals to enjoy your outdoor oasis in no time. 

The opposite is true for a pool that is not covered. If you left your pool uncovered during the winter, you would likely be greeted by a green slime composed of bacteria, algae, and more. Having algae grow over the winter season will compromise the integrity of your filtration systems and the plaster in your pool. 

You will likely be dumping money into buying a plethora of chemicals to get rid of the algae. Also, you will need to scrub away at your pool’s plaster to effectively get rid of any bacteria left behind. 


Having a swimming pool in your backyard is a great place to enjoy time with friends and family during the hot summer months. While there is often upkeep for your pool throughout the summer there are also important steps to take to protect your pool during cold winter months. 

By adding a pool cover to your swimming pool during winter you will reduce the need for cleaning and scrubbing in the spring. A swimming pool cover solves a multitude of issues. For one, it keeps your family safe by not having open water around small children and pets.

Another issue a pool cover will solve is that it keeps leaves out of your pool. If you leave your pool without a cover, debris will fall in and overtime, cover your pool with algae and bacteria. The algae and bacteria will then need to be dealt with in the spring by spending money on chemicals as well as taking time to scrub the plaster of your pool. 

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