Another thing the summertime means for those living near the Southeast coasts is hurricane season. And when it comes to protecting your property during this time, one area that often gets overlooked is the swimming pool. But, with proper hurricane pool prep, you can minimize potential damage and ensure your pool is ready to use once the storm passes.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to take when preparing your pool for a hurricane. By following the guidelines below, you’ll not only prevent damage and save yourself time and money after the storm, but you’ll also keep your pool in tip-top shape for those sunny days ahead.
Understanding the Importance of Properly Preparing Your Pool for a Hurricane
One of the most important things you should do to prepare for a hurricane is to make sure that your pool is ready. Failure to adequately do so can result in significant damage, not only to your pool but also to the surrounding area.
When a hurricane is near, your pool can also become a major hazard in itself. Heavy rainfall can cause your pool to flood if it is not prepared properly. Thus, causing an even bigger problem for your home and the surrounding area.
Plus, a pool that is poorly maintained before and after a hurricane and the surrounding flooded area can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests, which can be dangerous to your and your family’s health.
What Are the Risks of Poor Pool Preparation?
There are several risks associated with not preparing your pool for a hurricane. These include:
– Damage to the pool structure itself and its surfaces, including the tile, walls, and floor.
– An overflowing pool can cause flooding and property damage.
– Increased risk of mosquito-borne illnesses due to dirty, stagnant water.
8 Steps to Prepare Your Pool for a Hurricane
As you can see, when a hurricane is approaching, it is essential to prepare your pool properly to minimize potential damage. Doing so can be time-consuming, but it is essential to protect your investment and ensure the safety of your family and property.
By following these simple steps, you can minimize the damage and make sure your pool is ready when the next hurricane hits:
Trim Nearby Bushes & Trees
Trimming nearby bushes and trees is critical to prevent excess debris from falling into your pool during the hurricane. It will also help ensure that your pool area remains safe to use as quickly as possible after the storm.
Remove Loose Items from Your Pool Area
Make sure to remove any loose items from around your pool area, such as chairs, tables, lightweight and/or hanging flower pots, outdoor games, and toys. These items can become dangerous projectiles during high winds and cause significant damage to your pool and property.
Secure Loose Pool Maintenance Equipment
All of your pool maintenance equipment, such as pool skimmers, nets, brushes, etc need to be safely stored away or secured. This will prevent them from being blown away or damaged by strong winds.
Turn Off the Electricity to Your Pool Equipment
If there is even a slight chance that the pool pump motor or any other permanently plumbed electrical pool equipment could be submerged, turn off the power supply at the breaker panel. Make sure to disconnect any other outdoor electrical devices that aren’t absolutely necessary to be running during the storm. Doing these things will help prevent damage from power surges or electrical shorts.
Cover or Remove Electrical Pool Equipment
If possible, remove any electrical equipment from your pool area and store these pieces in a safe place. In many cases, after turning off the electricity, you can remove your pool pump (or at least just the pool pump motor). Keep in mind that if a pool pump motor becomes submerged in water, you will more than likely need to replace it.
If you cannot remove your electrical pool equipment, sandbag the area around it, cover the equipment with a waterproof material, and tie the material down securely. This will help protect the equipment from the effects of the hurricane.
Adjust the Water Level of the Pool If Necessary
If you expect heavy rainfall in your area during the storm, lowering the water level in your pool to just about one foot below the normal level is recommended. This will help prevent overflow and minimize damage.
Do not drain the water past the skimmer. And you never want to completely drain the pool. The water in your pool provides the weight needed to hold the sides and bottom in place when the inground water table is raised due to heavy rains. If you empty your pool, you risk the possibility of lifting your pool off its foundation (aka “floating”) and it can start to lift out of the ground.
Add Extra Chemicals to the Water
Adding extra chemicals to your pool before the hurricane can help to prevent contamination from excess rainwater and storm runoff, ensuring that your pool remains clean and safe to use after the storm. Shock your pool with extra chlorine, and adding algaecide can be helpful also. After adding the chemicals, make sure to run the filter and circulate the water as much as possible before the storm comes and you turn off the power.
Do Not Cover Your Pool
Contrary to popular belief, covering your pool during a hurricane can cause more harm than good. The cover can become a sail, causing debris to be trapped underneath and potentially damaging your pool. It can also cause water to accumulate on top of the cover and cause it to collapse, which will also pull where it was secured and damage the pool deck.
By following the steps we’ve covered above, you can significantly reduce the potential damage to your pool during a hurricane. Always stay safe and follow any instructions from local authorities regarding evacuation and safety precautions.
Checklist for After the Hurricane
Once the storm has passed, it’s time to assess the damage to your pool and surrounding area, clean up, and make sure the pool water is clean and clear. Follow these steps to ensure your pool is properly restored after a hurricane:
Inspect Your Pool & Surrounding Area for Damage
Before you do anything else, inspect your pool and the area around it for damage. Look for cracks or damage to the pool’s surface, damage to the pool deck, and any damage to nearby structures. If you find any damage, the next step is to determine if it is something you can fix yourself or if you need to call a professional.
If you suspect that your pool now has a leak. There are a couple of things you can do to find the source of the leak yourself.
Clean Up Any Debris In and Around Your Pool
As soon as you safely can, remove any debris that may have fallen into the pool during the storm. This may include leaves, branches, and other items that could clog your pool’s pump and filtration system. Also, make sure to thoroughly clean up any debris around the pool to prevent it from blowing back in during the next gust of wind.
Turn the Power Back On to Your Pool Equipment
If you cut off the power to your pool equipment before the storm, turn it back on once the storm has passed and it has stopped raining. Check your pool pump and filtration system to ensure that they are still working properly. If you notice any issues, address those right away. Also, if you have a pool pump timer, you’ll probably need to reset it.
Bring the Water Back Up to the Proper Level
Check the water level in your pool and add more water as necessary to bring it back up to the proper level. This is critical to ensure that your pool’s pump and filtration system can work correctly.
Test the Water
Once the pool water level is where it needs to be, use test strips to test the water and make sure it is safe for swimming. Pool water test strips will enable you to check the pH and chlorine levels. It’s important to ensure that your water is properly balanced before anyone gets in it after the storm to prevent any health issues.
Restore Proper Chemical Levels in the Water
If, after testing the water, you determine that the chemical levels are not properly balanced, add the appropriate chemicals as necessary. This could include chlorine, pH adjusters, or other chemicals.
Repair or Replace Any Damaged Screens, Fences, Gates, Etc.
If any screens, fences, gates, or other structures around your pool were damaged during the hurricane, repair or replace them as soon as possible. This will help prevent any further damage during the next rainstorm or wind gust. It will also help ensure the continued safety of children and animals when you can keep them away from the pool as needed.
Preparing Your Pool for a Hurricane is a Necessity to Save Time & Money Afterwards
As you can see, preparing your pool for a hurricane is a crucial step to protecting your property and ensuring safety for everyone involved. By following the steps outlined above, you can be confident that your pool will be ready to withstand the harsh winds and heavy rains of a hurricane.
Remember to always put safety first and seek professional assistance if needed. Additionally, it’s essential to stay informed about the weather conditions in your area and follow any evacuation orders issued by authorities. With these precautions in mind, you can minimize the damage to your pool and protect your loved ones during hurricane season.
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