Pond Cover

Pond Roofing is not something that we hear pond owners speak about or bloggers write about frequently in the pond industry but it's certainly important. In a traditional sense, pond roofing is just what it sounds like - a roofing structure that hangs out over your pond when cover is needed.

We're going to dive into the full spectrum of outdoor pond cover types and provide our recommendations of the best ones - all in one place here.

Pond Roofing and Outdoor Pond Cover

Pond covers are for all of the reasons that you would imagine. They're there to keep debris and leaves from falling into your pond, they help with preventing UV exposure to your water and plants, and it can help insulate your pond for warmer climates.

There are a handful of different types of outdoor covers available on the market today which we'll dive into in depth below. Pond Roofing doesn't have to be complicated.

Pond Covers are Available in Different Price Points and Styles

When it comes to pond covers, pricing can vary greatly depending on the type that you choose, material that it's made of, included features (i.e. air-vents), and many other factors. Price point is just one of the things that you'll need to take into consideration before selecting which type is best for you.

Pond covers come in many different types and styles, some more sought-after than others. This article aims to explain them all in detail in order to help make your outdoor pond cover selection process go as smoothly as possible.

All Pond Covers are Not Alike

When it comes to choosing an outdoor pond cover there's no universal "best" choice for everyone - each has their own specific weaknesses & strengths which must be taken into consideration when making your purchase decision. Winter pond environment may call for a different cover all together versus warmer seasons etc.

If you're not aware of these differences then you may end up purchasing the wrong product or worse yet, return it after discovering that it doesn't function as well as you had expected.

Benefits of Pond Roofs & Outdoor Pond Covers

We'll be going into great detail below so that you can understand exactly what each type has to offer and how it will benefit your outdoor pond.

The Best Pond Covers By Type

Here are the different types of pond covers:

Water-Ventilated Pond Covers:

- For Warm Climates, Cold Winters

If you live in a warmer climate and your winters are mild than the most popular style is the water-ventilated pond cover. They're also great for protecting your outdoor pond from insects, leaves, and other debris while still allowing adequate ventilation through the material to keep outdoor ponds cool when it's hot outside.

These covers can be made of many different types of materials such as: PVC and Polyethylene (Dura-Tech), polypropylene (Ray Padula) and Olefin (ex: Polar Bear).

Important Note: Of all of these choices we feel that Dura-Tech is by far best option in almost all cases . Read more about why below!

Water-Ventilated Pond Covers are Best for:

Warm Climates & Mild Winters

- Insects, Leaves, Debris Protection

- Allows Air-Ventilation

Custom Pond Covers (Canvas/ Vinyl) :

- For Unpredictable Winter Conditions; Leaks; Wind Damage; Allergies

For outdoor winter pond ownersthat live in unpredictable or severe winter climates (i.e. the North East), then a custom pond cover may be best for you. If your winters can be intense with lots of ice and snow, strong winds, harsh cold temps, etc; the only way to ensure your outdoor pond's safety is by having a quality custom canvas or vinyl cover installed.

This particular style of pond cover is like a large tarp and they're able to handle heavy weight and harsh conditions because of their thickness and strength (unlike the other types described above).

A custom can be made from different types of materials such as:

Vinyl or Canvas (black or green) which we feel is the best option in almost all scenarios .

These two fabrics really stand out head and shoulders above the rest - if you've never heard about canvass covers before then here's why:

Vinyl Pond Covers - Pros & Cons


- Good Budget Option

- Resistant to Ice, Debris, Animals

- Thin Material is Non-Obtrusive - No Curling or Wrinkling


- Not Durable (easy tears/holes); Not UV Resistant; Easily Scratched; Will Tear Under Excessive Weight

- Vinyl Pond Covers are not recommended for storing barrels over the winter because their thin material will easily tear under the weight of heavy objects. If you plan on using a barrel in your layout than we recommend using PVC instead. Read more about vinyl covers here .

Canvas Pond Covers - Pros & Cons


Canvas Pond Covers are the most popular option for most outdoor pond owners because they offer excellent durability combined with a low budget.

They are made of the most durable material available, have great UV protection, are resistant to algae growth, easy installation/removal, and keep your water crystal clear during the winter months.

  • Quality Material is Durable & Long Lasting
  • Resistant to Ice, Debris, Animals
  • Stays Tight in Windy Conditions - Curls/ Wrinkles Reduced or Eliminated


Price may be an issue for some people but given that quality canvas pond covers can last up to 7+ years with proper care their worth every penny over inferior products.

A good rule of thumb when considering what brand of pond cover to get is the lifetime of it (quality = good materials + warranties).

For example; covers that are 100% double-stitched, triple layered and tested for 10+ years will be far superior than those that only claim they last "5+ years".

Polar Bear Pond Cover- Pros & Cons


- Durable Material (Olefin) with Great Lifetime Guarantee


The material is not as thick or durable as canvas which makes them more susceptible to damages caused by ice, heavy pool furniture/filtration systems, etc.

Awning Pond Covers - Pros & Cons


The awning style of outdoor pond cover is becoming increasingly popular because they're low cost and easy to clean out.

Although the price may seem enticing, keep in mind that if you have an aesthetically pleasing waterfall/stream with rocks then it's going to be difficult to remove the debris from these covers without having to take them off every time.

Some people don't like the fact that they rust over time and therefore need annual maintenance, but we feel it can be a worthy tradeoff for those who want convenience (after all; most people will only need to check their pond once or twice during winter anyways).

Just make you purchase one made of 600D or better quality.


Low Cost & Easy to Clean Out/Maintenance


Not Durable; Will Rust over Time; Requires Annual Maintenance (check warranty)

- No major cons for this type of pond cover but it's not recommended to stack heavy objects on top of them because the material is slightly thinner than canvas outdoor covers - they will easily tear under excessive weight or pressure. If you need to store barrels, equipment, etc. in your setup then we recommend using PVC instead. Read more about awning covers here .

Waterproof Pond Covers - Pros & Cons


The great thing about waterproof outdoor covers is that they offer excellent durability (usually guaranteed for 5+ years by the manufacturer) while still being cost effective.

They are made of heavy duty olefin material with double-stitched seams, UV protection, black grommets every 3 feet to ensure that water can't seep underneath it, and comes in square or round sizes.


The only real downside is that they are typically more expensive than most other types of outdoor pond covers - however, they're worth the extra cost if you're concerned about your setup staying safe over several years.

What pond cover is preferable for a koi pond?

The rules of thumb for koi ponds are the same as above, but it should be noted that you definitely want a winter water garden cover to have a tighter weave so that predators can't get in.

Many people think that a tight seal is only needed because Japanese koi fish/koi carp will jump out of your pond if given the chance. Although this may be true, fish generally won't survive for very long outside of your koi pond environment.

The best type of water garden cover for a koi pond will be 600D or better quality olefin with UV protection, double stitching and tightly sealed seams (no mesh). If your setup is in a more rural area where these types of predators pose a serious threat then we really recommend going with the waterproof outdoor covers instead.

Pond Water Covering Key Points:

All types of outdoor pond cover products have their pros and cons but you must decide which features are most important to you based on your personal needs/situation - not what's popular or everyone else does because that rarely makes sense.

A word on pond netting:

Many individuals will use nylon or metal netting to cover their fish ponds instead of buying a pond cover. Although they're effective for keeping out predators and large debris, we strongly advise against using nets because:

1) They don't provide the same level of protection as covers with grommets/gusseted sides for drainage purposes

2) You can easily forget to take it off when you need to dump your pond in the springtime - which leads to decreased water quality, algae growth, fish kills and more.

You should always have a tight seal around your outdoor pond's perimeter!

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