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A pool cover protects the water from dirt and leaves.

In addition, the use of a pool cover prevents damage to the pool liner and is even part of one of many pool safety tips.

Especially to ensure a childproof pool, a well attached pool cover is mandatory.

How to attach the pool cover correctly in 4 steps

First and foremost, you don’t want the pool cover to be sagging.

Fixing a tarp over the pool is easy to learn for novices in comparison, so you quickly develop a certain routine in this activity.

From choosing the right pool tarp to the appropriate preparations to the actual process, the following sections will explain all the necessary steps to adequately attach the tarp for your pool.

Step 1: Choosing the right pool cover for your pool

Before proceeding to the next steps, you need to make sure that you use a pool cover that suits your individual needs as well as the specific conditions on site.

Especially if, for example, children or animals are often near the pool, a safety cover in accordance with the French standard NF P 90-308 is mandatory, as these prevent children from being exposed to a risk of injury because, among other things, they can get under the tarp more easily.

Moreover, adults can also safely enter that type of pool cover up to a certain body weight, without causing damage to the pool as well as its material.

In the case of a completely installed pool, embedded in the ground, usually a cover is sufficient, which can be used all year round, provided that the pool accessories also undergo appropriate wintering.

The most common option is to leave the pool cover on the water during the winter, whereby the use of air cushions on the one hand supports the drainage of rain or snow water, and on the other hand considerably reduces the pressure caused by the ice. Alternatively, inflatable covers can of course also be used.

Step 2: Make preparations

After adding winter protection agent, which has been dosed according to the instructions of the respective manufacturer, the water of your pool is drained down to below the built-in components of the pool in the course of winter lowering.

When buying a pool cover, it is always necessary to take into account the distance from the edge of the pool to the surface of the water and, if necessary, to order the next larger cover.

After that, remove all sharp objects or those with sharp edges that are within the reach of the pool to avoid damage to the pool tarp.

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Step 3: Put the tarp over the pool

After pulling the pool tarp over the pool, be sure to center it. Then, position the tarp along the walls of the pool and let it rest completely on the surface of the water.

Depending on whether it is an in-ground pool with or without curbs at the edge of the pool, or an in-ground pool, the tarp will either need to be secured around the edge of the pool or weighted down.

Step 4: Adjust the tension rope

To provide additional support or stability to the pool cover so that it does not fall into the pool water due to strong winds or snow, a tension rope is threaded alternately through the respective eyelets around the edge of the cover.

After that, the loose ends of the rope are guided into the opposite openings of the tensioning lock drum, knotted, shortened accordingly if needed, as well as tightened accordingly by turning the attached cranks. By means of the pawl, the desired position is fixed.

Fixing the pool cover for winter storage

Although during the winter you should periodically check the pool as well as the tarp attached to it, however, it usually does not receive as much attention as during the summer months when it is heavily used.

There are also numerous options for choosing a pool cover with a wide range of properties. Each of these models requires adequate installation and handling, as the following sections explain.

The cover matters

If there are children or animals on site, or if there is a high probability that the pool cover will be exposed to a large amount of weight, then a safety cover according to the French standard NF P 90-308 is highly recommended, whereby many models are opaque and thus prevent the proliferation of algae. Furthermore, so-called rod covers are also characterized by a particularly high load-bearing capacity as well as stability.

In many cases, a commercial tarpaulin for the pool made of PE tape fabric, which can be used throughout the year, is perfectly adequate, provided that it is combined, for example, with so-called air cushions, which additionally counteract damage caused by frost, rain or snow. In comparison, very similar in handling and therefore an alternative to conventional pool tarpaulins, are covers for inflation.

Winter pool cover fastening

The fastening of a pool cover for wintering varies depending on which of the four types it is and what the respective substrate consists of. In principle, it can be said that maximum stability is always sought to protect the pool from damage.

A normally commercially available PE tarpaulin is either stretched around the corresponding pool with a tension rope or attached to the ground, in which case it is very sensitive to other materials with sharp edges.

The installation of an inflatable cover is comparable to that of a conventional simple pool tarpaulin, although the individual manufacturer’s operating instructions should always be consulted in conclusion.

Safety covers for inground pools are often fixed to the ground with ground anchors as well as hooks, while tension straps are also often used. The so-called rod covers are considered to have a high load-bearing capacity with the help of stainless steel ground anchors and turnbuckles, as well as continuous rods made of aluminum.

Ultimately, it is advisable to consult the specific assembly instructions before setting up and then adapt them to your own circumstances.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about pool tarp attachment answered

How to fasten an Intex pool cover?

A pool cover from the well-known manufacturer Intex is available in several shapes and general variants. In addition to the tried-and-true steps for attaching a pool cover, you should pay special attention to the fact that some Intex products require a little more craftsmanship to install, as well as should be attached very gently whenever possible.

How to fix a Bestway pool tarp?

The above steps also apply to Bestway pool tarpaulins, but they may need to be adapted to the individual model. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to consult and consider the respective instructions for adequate installation.

Do snow and water need to be removed from the pool tarp?

It is highly recommended to remove both snow and accumulated water from the pool cover at regular intervals. Another option is to cushion them with appropriately placed wooden beams, steel girders or other structures.
Especially conventional pool tarpaulins made of PE tape fabric, which rest on the surface of the water of your pool, are otherwise exposed to the risk of sliding into the pool.

Does the pool cover need to be cleaned?

At least once a calendar year, you should give your pool cover a basic cleaning, with the start-up after the winter months being the best time for this. After the tarp has been removed from the pool and freed of leaves and other debris, apply a special cleaner for PVC fabrics or soapy water or an alkaline tent cleaner with a very soft sponge and then allow the pool tarp to dry. If cleaning is necessary again after this, it should be done with water only.

Are there any alternatives to the tensioning rope for attaching pool tarpaulins?

There are numerous ways to fix a pool cover, but not all of them are equally gentle on the material. For example, if the pool tarp is attached to a soft surface, including grass or soil, tent pegs or stakes are an option.
If, on the other hand, your pool cover is on solid ground, it must be adequately weighted down. However, pointed or angular objects, such as many types of conventional bricks, should be avoided and instead round stones, or better yet sandbags, should be favored.


Depending on individual needs, as with any pool accessory, the pool cover should be chosen. Its use is advisable not only during winter storage to minimize, among other things, damage caused by frost or infestation by algae, but also in the summer during long periods of non-use.

If you combine the pool cover with other items such as air cushions, soon even novices will establish a routine that will guarantee a long life of the pool, as well as maximum bathing fun.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.