Steps to Prepare for a BIG storm
We are often asked “What should I do to get my pool ready for a hurricane?”.
Proper preparation is the key to minimizing damage during any severe storm.
By following a few simple steps, your pool should weather the storm well.
Do not Drain Your Swimming Pool!
Many people believe that by draining their swimming pool it will not overflow and then cause flooding in their yard.
This is Wrong!
In-Ground Pools are very vulnerable to the excess water that the ground may be holding causing your pool to “float” or “pop” out of the ground. When water is in your pool the weight of the water helps to keep the excess ground water away from your pool.
Above Ground Pools need the water in them to help keep them up and stable.
If you do want to slightly empty the water level I suggest that you only lower it 1 foot. The water in your pool can also help serve as a shield to protect your pool’s finish from flying debris. It is also wise to have 1Lb shocks on hand, these can be added on a daily basis to keep your pool clear and blue during power outages.
What about My Pump and Filter?
The most significant storm damage that can occur is usually to the pump or any other electrical components (i.e. salt chlorinator, heater, automatic cleaner pump, any type of automation). Quite a few people will turn everything off at the breaker box to stop any power surges.
If your pump does in fact get wet or ends up under water – Wait until it has dried out before turning it back on – you will have a better chance of it starting up again.
There are even a few people who will disconnect their pump and put it in the garage on a nice high shelf.
Get Everything Around the Pool Put Away or Tied Down
Remove all loose items from your pool and pool area. These items may include –
- skimmer lids,
- any maintenance equipment that is hanging on a fence or laying on the deck,
- umbrellas around the pool area or one that have stands in the pool,
- any kind of toys (pool related or other),
- anything that has a chance of getting blown into the pool.
If you have furniture around the pool please make sure you either tie it down or get it into a shed or garage.
The biggest damage that can occur usually comes from furniture being blown into the pool.
I do not recommend tossing loose items into the pool as they can damage the finish of your pool.
To Cover or Not to Cover
There is a tendency for pool owners to want to cover their pools before a storm hits. This approach will be successful in keeping the dirt and debris out of your water during the storm, the cover itself may suffer serious damage.
It is generally easier to clean out your pool then go through the expense, time and energy of replacing a damaged cover. Safety covers can be quite costly to replace.
I have seen people who have quite a few trees in their yard cover their pools and I have seen people who put everything away and leave their pools be.
If you do decide to cover your pool, I would recommend giving your pool a good shocking (2X the normal) about a day before you put the cover on and then as soon as you can remove the cover from the pool before the water starts to turn green.
Heat can (and does) build up between the cover and the water and you will start growing algae in the water.
After the Storm
Once the severe weather has passed and you have taken care of other more critical and emotional damage you can address your pool and/or spa.
- Clean out the debris from your swimming pool to help keep it from staining.
- Balance the water and keep the filter running. I always recommend letting us balance your water – it’s easier for you!
- Do not drain your pool! It may be tempting but all of the ground water that is left can be disastrous to your pools interior.
- Inspect your pump and motor for any damage Let the motor dry a good 24 hours if it gets wet. If your pump has been underwater call a licensed, insured pool repair company to thoroughly inspect your pool and equipment.