How to Prepare Your Pool for a Storm
Hurricane season on the Atlantic coast lasts from May through November, smack in the middle of pool season. We’re already feeling the effect of climates changes with severe thunderstorms, flash floods, hail, high winds, and unyielding hurricanes. These storms cause flooding and send debris flying in every direction.
Depending on the severity, damages from water contamination, broken pool equipment, and wrecked hardscaping and landscaping can cost you over $5,000 in repairs. Don’t worry – our team of pool professionals rounded up a list of steps you can follow to minimize the damage and make cleanup a breeze.
Ditch the Pool Cover
Pool covers keep out leaves, bugs, and pollen while protecting your pool from sun damage. They also maintain the pool’s temperature and prevent pool chemicals from evaporating. However, pool covers do not have the durability to withstand heavy debris, rain, and winds. While it may seem counterintuitive, removing your pool cover will save it from a hurricane’s relentless wrath.
Place the pool cover in a plastic tote and safely store in it your pool shed or garage. If you have an automatic pool cover, roll it up and secure it with tarps to keep debris from ripping or dislodging the pool cover.
Remove or Tie Down Any Loose Accessories and Furniture
Pool toys, umbrellas, chairs, tables, grills, cleaning equipment, and other accessories become hefty missiles in high winds. It is best to store these indoors or securely tie them down with a tarp to prevent damage. This saves you from a lengthy scavenger hunt through your neighborhood to collect all your belongings.
Turn Off Pool Systems
Turn off or remove pool equipment such as electric pumps, filtration systems, lighting, gas heaters, or solar heaters. Heavy flooding may burn out the motor and cause equipment to short circuit. Falling debris, such as heavy tree branches, will effortlessly crush your expensive pool equipment. Remember to turn off gas heaters and electric systems. We also recommend storing solar heaters indoors. Any autonomous or outstanding pool accessories, such as robotic pool cleaners, should be stored indoors or securely covered with a tarp.
Do NOT Drain the Pool
Draining the pool may cause the structure to pop out of place due to the groundwater’s pressure. The best way to prepare for heavy rain is to lower the water to avoid overflowing, but not enough to drain past the skimmer. Use a submersible pump, a pool vacuum, or the multiport valve on your pool pump (if it has one) to lower water to the desired level. This way, there is room for flash flooding but plenty of water to maintain the pool structure and keep the systems healthy.
Prepare Pool Water with an Algaecide
When mixed with debris, copious amounts of rainwater can produce algae and leave your pool chemicals unbalanced. Since rainwater dilutes the pool chemicals, the algae present in the debris becomes stronger. The algae will quickly multiply, and you may wake up to a bright green algae bloom taking over the pool. You will likely have to adjust the chemicals once the storm subsides, but you can add an algaecide before to prevent algae blooms. This will make rebalancing the pool chemicals much easier after the storm.
Remove or Trim Potentially Hazardous Limbs
Tree limbs may land in your pool and cause scratches, tear your pool lining, and pollute the water. It is best to avoid this by trimming surrounding trees, limbs, and bushes. Fences, screen doors, and other structures may be damaged or become loose during a storm. Secure these with sandbags, bungee cords, and ropes to prevent heavy items from flying away and damaging your pool area.
Cleaning Up After a Storm
Once the storm blows over, it is time to assess your pool’s situation and start cleaning. The first task is to remove any lingering debris, such as limbs and loose tree branches. This prevents anything from clogging your filter. Next, skim the surface for bugs and leaves and scrub the walls. Time to send in your pool vacuum to suck up any debris on the pool floor (this is where robotic pool cleaners come in handy).
Once you have cleared the debris, turn on your pump and filter. Then add chlorinators to kill bacteria and readjust the water’s chemical balance. Completing this step should be a relatively simple process if you used an algaecide before the storm.
Get Your Swimming Pool Back in Shape
Severe weather may cause fear and headaches for pool owners, but if you take the necessary precautions, you will get your pool back in shape in no time. If you notice extensive damages or need help rebalancing your pool’s chemicals, Shoreline Pools can put your worries to bed. Our professionals will assess your needs, provide repairs and cleaning services, and inform you of how to move forward so you can get back to enjoying your pool! If you need help preparing your luxury swimming pool for an approaching storm, call the Shoreline Pool maintenance crew by dialing (203) 357-1544 today!