Unfortunately, seasons change. Yes, we get it, if it was up to us, we would be swimming all year-round. Still, autumn and Winter do come round. Nothing we can do about it. That said one of the questions we get asked often is:
What types of above-ground pools can be left up year-round? In general, most above-ground pools can be left up year-round, but there are many considerations to keep in mind. The decision for most pool owners depends largely on where in the world the above-ground pool resides, as some pools are not suitable to remain above ground year-round due to potential extreme cold climates.
However, before we further answer what types can be left up year-round, we first need to determine the most common types of above-ground pools available.
The Most Common Types of Above Ground Pools
The above-ground pool market is huge and there are certainly a wide variety of pools you can purchase. The most popular are:
Easy Set / Inflatable Above Ground Pool
These are very popular due to their ease of setup, low cost, and relatively small size. Perfect for small yards and low maintenance. They are generally 12 feet in diameter but can be made larger for an additional fee with some manufacturers.
Many people choose these above-ground pools because they’re portable and light enough to move around the yard.
They require little setup which is great for owners who are unwilling or unable to deal with a lot of heavy lifting.
However, despite their many positive attributes above-ground swimming pools that use a blower can have one large drawback: they aren’t winterized.
Steel Frame Above Ground Pool
These pools are slightly larger and supported by a steel frame. This makes them much easier to maintain since you won’t have to worry about punctures as often and they’re generally sturdier overall. The size will vary based on the specific model but an average above-ground pool is 14 feet in diameter.
However, these generally won’t be suitable year-round since most pools require some type of winterization. This is because the steel frames can create rusting issues. The best advice would be to cover your pool if you decide to keep it up.
Alternatively, since it is easy to set up you might consider to just take the pool down over the cold months.
These above-ground pools are actually installed partially underground for added protection from the elements. While this does make them more expensive, there are a lot of homeowners who will gladly pay extra for the protection against extreme weather conditions. These conditions are not only limited to winter and also include
- Storms and stong winds
- Extreme Heat
What types of above-ground pools can be left up year-round?
Simply put, fiberglass above ground pools can be stored outdoors above the frost line year-round. Above the frost line representing general the area above 4′.
On the other hand, Vinyl above-ground pools with a skirt can also be stored above the frost line, as long as the skirting prevents animals from entering.
Since vinyl is the most popular above-ground pool, always look for the following when making the decision to purchase:
Look for a vinyl pool with:
- a 5000 or greater gauge (thickness) to prevent cracks and tears
- wide top rails to increase structural integrity (13″ minimum)
- thicker sidewalls than bottom (4″-5″ thick) for additional strength and durability; above ground pool walls that are only 2″; cannot hold water pressure, will collapse when filled with water. (*Panels may vary slightly in thickness above ground, especially above 16′ deep pools)
When should you take down your above-ground pool?
Rule of thumb and logically, before temperatures drop to freezing. This will help prolong the above-ground pool’s life and prevent costly repairs later on.
Drain the water and close the pool completely. Cover with a tarp or other suitable material to protect against mildew or as much exposure to harsh elements as possible. Tarping above-ground pools can prolong their life significantly. A good rule of thumb is if the above-ground pool can withstand temperatures above 12 degrees Fahrenheit without falling apart then it should last several years just by keeping it covered during all weather conditions above 50 degrees Fahrenheit if possible.
If you experience extremely cold winters then take above-ground pools down in the fall and store them somewhere warm. That said, above-ground pools can be left up year-round if they are sturdy enough to survive freezing temps without sustaining any major damage.
Can above-ground pools with liners be left up in the winter?
Yes, above-ground pool liners can be kept up year-round as long as the pool pump and filter systems are turned off at the source to prevent unnecessary wear and tear and leaks.
What if I have an above-ground pool that is cracked? How much does it cost to replace?
If cracks are caused by extreme cold, cycles and can be fixed instead of completely replacing them. That said, if your above-ground pools have been in use for more than 6 to 8 years, repairs may be more expensive.
When is the best time to buy an above-ground pool?
Spring is the ideal time to purchase most above-ground pools. They are stocked up and ready for you to pick one out.
In short, buy an above-ground pool while it’s in season – spring through summer months – to take advantage of manufacturer promotions such as free goodies like water toys or special offers like extra coverage options which may not be available later in the year.* You will get a better selection of shapes, sizes and features at these times if you prefer a particular size/shape that may not be available during other times of the year.