Problems With Above Ground Pools in the Winter


Above ground pools are pools that are not constructed at ground level, requiring no digging or expensive installation. While in-ground pools must consist of concrete, fiberglass and other durable materials, above ground pools are made of a wider range of materials and are designed to fit in more spaces, similar to a spa or hot tub. While these benefits are useful to many yard owners, above ground pools also come with problems related to their vulnerability in the wintertime.

Rust and Cracks

  • Some above ground pools are constructed with metallic sides and covers. This metal provides a rigid structure for the frame of the pool, but in harsh weather conditions, the metal can develop rust problems. Even above ground pools that do not use any metal are vulnerable to the effects of moisture freezing inside the pool material, expanding and creating cracks.


  • While moisture freezing in the cracks of the pool is a problem, water left in the pool itself can also cause trouble when it turns into ice. In cold winter conditions, some or all of the water inside the pool can freeze, expanding up and out of the pool. The ice can push against the pool seal and damage it. This problem is often addressed by using air pillows that give way for the expanding ice but do not allow the pool structure to become damaged.

High Winds

  • Winter weather often comes with higher winds. In-ground pools are protected against these winds by their low profile, but above ground pools are much more exposed. High winds can tear off the pool cover, damaging it and contaminating the water inside. Owners can protect their pools by using a tight liner designed to windproof an above ground pool.

Extra Work

  • Closing above ground pools for winter and opening them again after winter weather is over is a time-consuming process, more complicated than simple cleaning, winterizing and draining in-ground pools. Above ground pools may require owners to detach and reattach the skimmer and return fittings and hoses leading to the pump and filter. Air pillows also require inflating and deflating, adding to the time it takes to maintain the pool.

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