Well, it is that time of the year again. Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th. Floridians have become all too familiar with the damages created from these storms and there are many items to consider when preparing for their impacts. One common item that must not be overlooked when dealing with these destructive forces of nature are swimming pools. Throughout The Sunshine State, swimming pools are quite common features for many homes, condos, and apartment buildings. So are there any particular items that should be considered when maintaining your pool during these storms? We discuss below.
- Do not drain your pool: The water in your pool provides weight to hold the bottom and sides in place when heavy rains raise the water table. If a pool is drained, this will greatly increase the risk of structural damage.
- Maintain the water level: Assuming that the surrounding area of your pool drains properly, you should not need to drain your pool at all. If this is not the case, you may consider draining your pool by a foot or two in advance of the heavy rains.
- Shock your pool: In anticipation of heavy rains and runoffs, it is a good idea to super-chlorinate your pool in advance.
- Turn off automatic equipment/electrical items for the pool. Prior to the storm’s arrival, it is highly recommended that you turn off all electrical power at the circuit breaker.
- Create a vent in a screen enclosure: If your pool is screened in, you may want to remove several screen panels to create a vent for wind to pass through.
- Store pool furniture: In anticipation of high winds from an oncoming storm, it is recommended that all pool furnishings be stored away. If possible, storing these items in a garage is recommended. If storage space is not available, you may consider placing these furnishings in the pool. (Keep in mind that chlorine may damage some items.)
- Once again, do not drain your pool: Similar to your storm preparation, draining your pool may lead to potential structural damages. In the event that you have drainage issues, you may consider draining some water from the pool.
- Test your water: Given the high amount of rain water and other runoff from the storm, it is critical that you have your pool water tested.
- Dry all pool equipment: Prior to plugging your equipment back in and turning the power back on, it is important to first thoroughly dry it.
- Check automated systems and timers: Chances are that the power may have gone out during the storm and this has caused any automation or timers to be out of sync. You will want to check these systems to ensure they are operating optimally.
- Remove debris from the pool: As with any storm, it is likely that the pool has collected a lot of debris. It is important that all debris is removed from the pool in order prevent clogs or reduced water quality.
It is imperative that Floridians have a thorough hurricane plan in place prior to the beginning of hurricane season on June 1st. The swimming pool is an area that is often overlooked, but can result in costly repairs and maintenance after a storm. Taking the proper precautions as well as appropriately caring for your pool after the storm can save you much time and money in repairs.
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