How to Keep a Pool Cover from Sagging

backyard pool with retracting automatic pool cover

You need to know how to keep your pool cover from sagging if you want to maintain a safer swimming pool area for your friends, family, and loved ones. In many cases, you just have to know how to tighten the straps on your pool safety cover, and it will be ready to keep protecting your pool. Sometimes, however, professional attention may be needed. Let’s take a look at the top reasons a pool cover can sag and what could indicate it’s time to call your neighborhood independent All-Safe Pool installer.

A Pool Cover Sag is a Drag

Swimming pool safety covers are designed to hold the weight of an adult to help prevent accidental drowning injuries. For full effectiveness, however, these covers need to be drum-tight, with only the slightest deflection or dip in the center of the pool. This tightness helps avoid water, snow, or debris gathering in the middle of the cover, adding to its weight in the event of an emergency, and also stores a certain amount of kinetic energy in the springs that secure the cover, pre-loading them to keep your loved ones safer. 

Green mesh pool cover tightly secured above an in-ground pool

In addition to the safety benefits, a tightened pool cover better protects the water from leaves, dirt, and debris slipping into the water around the edge of the pool. A tight cover is also better at redirecting precipitation away from the pool to better protect your chemistry and does more to limit evaporation. In short, knowing how to keep your pool cover from sagging not only can save a life but may help save you time and money in cleaning and sanitation as well.

Why Pool Covers Sag

When a professionally installed swimming pool safety cover or safety net is brand new, it gives a firm, tight appearance that stretches all the way across the pool providing the protection you need. Over time, as the pool cover protects your pool from the elements, winter snows accumulate before giving way to spring showers and summer thunderstorms, curious children play on it (even though you tell them not to), and the simple passage of time can start to take their toll. 

When that happens, the center of the cover starts to dip lower, resting on the water more and more. This compounds the issues, as now gravity directs water and debris to the lower, flatter area, trapping it and increasing the stresses your pool cover is under. These stresses usually affect a few key areas causing the sag.

  • Springs – Your safety cover uses metal springs attached to support straps to create the right amount of tension to protect your pool. Metal expands and contracts due to temperature changes, so some areas with a big swing between summer and winter may need to periodically adjust their pool’s tension. Additionally, springs that are constantly under load without an opportunity to return to their compressed state can weaken. 
  • Seams – The seams of your pool cover are stitched tight to join the fabric and straps into a unified support structure that provides a layer of protection capable of holding up a potential drowning victim. Even the most resilient materials can stretch slightly as time passes, requiring a spring adjustment. Additionally, if the seams and straps aren’t laying straight when the pool cover is tensioned, it may need to be adjusted to keep your pool cover from sagging.
  • Material – As with the seams, the fibers in the material that makes up your pool cover can develop a slight stretch, especially if it is frequently under weight, such as if snow cover is common in the winter. Adjusting your pool cover straps can help give it the lift it needs to restore a taut appearance.

How to Adjust Your Pool Cover Straps

Close-up of a blue mesh pool cover showing secure straps

Adjusting your pool cover straps is a straightforward process thanks to the buckle design that secures your springs in a loop of strong webbing. Similar to the buckles you’ve likely seen on purses or backpacks, the strap webbing weaves through the buckle, looping back on itself, relying on the tension of these two layers to keep the buckle secure. Your cover’s spring attaches through this loop of webbing, so adjusting the position of the buckle and the strap passing through it is how to keep your pool from sagging. 

When adjusting the straps on your pool cover, work with one strap at a time, making small adjustments and then checking the progress. Making too large of adjustments risks overcorrecting, potentially leading to damage.  Simply slide the slack end of the strap toward the buckle, loosening the loop. You can now work the buckle closer to the cover or farther away, and you can create longer or shorter loops for the spring before tightening the strap back flat against the buckle. 

Signs Your Pool Cover Needs Professional Care

While you may know how to keep your pool cover from sagging in most cases, sometimes a pro is needed for repair or parts replacement. 

  • Rips or Tears – Tears in the fabric need to be fixed immediately or the cover replaced. Small tears can often be repaired, minimizing the cost, however, larger rips–especially curved or jagged slices–may not allow you to properly tension your cover. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to keep your pool cover from sagging is a replacement.
  • Over Stressed Areas – If you notice thin spots in your material, bunching around seams that can’t be corrected with strap adjustments or other signs of long-term stress damage, contact your local pro. They’ll be able to assess the damage and advise you on your options.
  • Fraying Seams – If the seams of your cover, especially those fixing the straps to the fabric, are fraying or coming loose, repairs must be made at once. Separation from the support straps can negatively impact your cover’s ability to save a potential drowning victim and could create an entanglement hazard if separation occurs when someone enters the water.
  • Ripped Webbing – Damage to your straps, either from tension or over-inquisitive pets and wildlife, can leave your safety cover without the support it needs to protect your loved ones. Straps need to be replaced or repaired right away to make sure it can still do its job.

Your Local Safety Pro is Ready to Help

Your independent All-Safe Pool pro is ready to help you with adjustments, repairs, or replacements anytime your pool cover is sagging. Call and schedule an appointment, and they’ll come out to inspect the damage, lay out your options to restore your pool’s safety, and work fast to keep your pool protected. Make sure your cover is ready for action. Request a visit from your local All-Safe Pool installer today.

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