How Much Weight can a Pool Cover Hold?

Maintaining a pool cover is important for prolonging the life of both the cover and the pool itself. Without a secure pool cover, your pool is at risk of evaporating and losing heat. Furthermore, pool covers ensure the pool remains safe when not in use. Because the elements can wear down pool covers over time, it’s important to understand how to properly care for your cover. One question that may come to mind is, “How much weight can a pool cover hold?”

In general, standard pool covers will hold up to 485 pounds, a standard set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Of course, every pool cover is created differently, so many will hold much more weight. Each cover’s manual will give information on what it can withstand.

If you’re still curious about how much weight pool covers can handle, you have come to the right place. Today, we’ll explain in further detail how much weight pool covers can hold.

How Much Weight Will a Pool Cover Hold?

When shopping for a pool cover, you may often see photos of automobiles, elephants, and large groups of people standing on the cover. While it’s clear that the manufacturer is advertising how much weight the cover can support, you may wonder whether or not pool covers can handle that much weight.

Generally, pool covers should be able to hold 485 pounds. This standard weight was set by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). With this being said, every pool cover is designed differently. Always refer to the pool cover’s manual to determine how much weight your cover will hold.

This standard weight is set for pools with a diameter greater than 8 feet from the edge. If the pool has a diameter smaller than 8 feet, the amount of weight that cover can hold may change.

In many cases, pool covers are capable of holding more weight than the standard weight set by the ASTM. For instance, some brands of automatic pool covers can handle as much as 2,000 pounds. Even most mesh covers have the ability to hold thousands of pounds. Thus, the amount of weight pool covers can hold isn’t limited to the standard set by the ASTM.

The secureness of the cover also determines how much weight a pool cover can hold. Ideally, a pool cover should be tightly strapped down and secured in place. Depending on the cover you own, you may be able to lock the pool cover.

Because every pool cover is different, it’s important to refer to the pool cover’s manual. Never attempt to put more weight on a pool cover than the manufacturer recommends. 

Can You Walk on a Pool Cover?

Because the standard weight for pool covers to hold is 485 pounds, you may wonder whether or not you can walk on a pool cover. After all, this standard weight is roughly equivalent to a combined weight of two adults and one child.

The short answer is yes, most pool covers are designed to handle the weight of being walked on. That said, pool covers should only be walked on during the case of an emergency or maintenance. Never jump or run across a pool cover.

Although pool covers are designed to handle the weight of being walked upon, your cover may still include a warning label stating to avoid walking on it. This is simply because the safety cover is prone to flex under the pressure of being walked on. Thus, a cover should only be walked on during the event of an emergency. Additionally, you may step on the cover when clearing leaves and debris as long as you are extremely careful.

Before walking across a pool cover, make sure the cover is strapped down to the pool. The fabric should be tight and firm to walk across. If the cover is loose or sagging, be sure to secure it before putting any weight on it. Walking across a loose pool cover is not only dangerous, but it may eventually rip the material.

Can a Pool Cover Withstand Snow?

In addition to covering pools during the swimming season, pool covers protect pools from damage during the cold months of winter. By collecting snow, pool covers prevent damage from occurring to the pool’s interior shell. However, when excess snow builds up on the cover, the cover may be at risk of sagging or tearing.

Generally, pool covers can withstand several inches of light snow. If the cover receives more than this, it is best to remove excess snow buildup to avoid damage to the cover. During heavy storms, leaving a few inches of snow on the cover is beneficial, as it prevents the cover from blowing away.

Do not operate an automatic pool cover during the winter, as operating may damage the tracks. It is especially important to never remove a pool cover during freezing temperatures. If you must remove the cover, make sure all snow is removed and the temperature is above freezing.

When removing snow from your pool cover, be sure to carefully brush or shovel snow off the cover. Do not use anything with a sharp edge, as this can damage the material. Plastic shovels, as well as certain leaf blowers, work well for removing excess snow.

When to Remove Snow from a Pool Cover

In most cases, a pool cover can withstand the weight of snow, even when there are several inches of buildup. Because most pool covers are crafted with durable materials, there is little need to worry when a snowstorm occurs. Even several inches of snow isn’t a concern as long as the pool cover is firmly attached to the pool.

Understanding when to remove snow from a pool cover is important for pool cover maintenance. Although pool covers are designed to handle the weight of snow buildup, there may be certain circumstances when snow needs to be removed. Because both inground pools and above-ground pools can be damaged from heavy snow, it’s important for pool owners to know when excess snow should be shoveled off.

In general, pool covers can safely hold 1 to 2 feet of snow. When snow buildup becomes higher than this, it’s important to closely monitor the pool. If the snow buildup reaches 3 to 5 feet, you’ll need to remove snow immediately. Too much snow can cause damage to the pool’s walls as well as destroy the pool cover fabric.

To remove snow, gently brush off snow with a plastic shovel or leaf blower. Do not use anything sharp such as an ice-scraper. During windy weather, it may be wise to leave a few inches of snow evenly distributed on the cover. This will prevent the cover from blowing away, which in turn protects your pool from damage. 

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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