You’ve invested lots of time and energy in creating the perfect backyard oasis. You’ve enjoyed countless hours of fun and relaxation from your pool throughout the year, but now it’s hurricane season, the special time of year where you prepare for the worst Mother Nature has to offer while enjoying all the sunny days and warm weather possible.
When a hurricane is heading in your direction, it’s time to begin preparing your property for potential storm damage. You may know exactly what to do to protect your home, vehicles, boats or other items, but protecting your pool is a little different. To make it easier on you, we’ve put together a two part series on what to do both before and after a storm.
As always, we encourage you to be safe before, during and after the storm. Please do not drive or wade through flood waters. Listen and follow the directions given by local officials on evacuations, curfews and reentering the storm zone after evacuation.
Here are six things to do for your pool to prepare it for a hurricane:
1. Don’t empty your pool
Your pool deck is designed to drain water away from the pool, so you shouldn’t worry too much about flooding because of your pool. More importantly, however, your pool is designed to remain full at all times, and an empty pool can actually “float” when the ground becomes inundated with water. As long as your pool deck is draining properly, you should be fine.
2. Power down your electrical equipment
Make sure all electrical equipment to your pool is completely powered down. Turn off the circuit breakers that feed pumps, chlorinators, heaters, lighting and any other electrical equipment associated with your pool.
3. Protect your pool equipment
Once you’ve powered down your pool equipment, cover any equipment that could be exposed to water during the storm. Use tarps or plastic sheets to securely cover these components, and be sure to secure them in a way that will stand up to hurricane-force winds. It may be better to disconnect these devices and store them in a safe place if flooding is expected; especially your pump motor, which will almost certainly be ruined if submerged. If you need to disconnect equipment, you may want to call a local pool service company for assistance.
4. Stow all loose furniture and poolside items
We’ve all seen the image of the newscaster leaning into hurricane winds and almost being blown away as someone’s patio furniture tumbles past in the background. You don’t want that to be your furniture! Other than ruining and displacing your valuable outdoor pieces, a hurricane can turn objects of enjoyment into dangerous projectiles. Be sure to stow any loose items in your yard somewhere they’ll be sheltered from the wind; and when we say any loose items, we mean it! If it’s not bolted down, stow it!!
Pro Tip: You can submerge waterproof lawn furniture in your pool to keep it from blowing away!
5. Leave off your pool cover
You first instinct may be to cover your pool before a storm, but don’t do it! Flying debris wreaks havoc on pool covers. Besides branches and yard debris, you never know what might fly by during a storm and any of these items can damage your pool cover.
6. Give your pool a shock
It’s a good idea to give your pool some extra chlorine before a big storm. Debris and storm water can contaminate your pool, and shocking it before a storm will help guard it against this. Be sure to run the pump for a few hours after shocking to circulate the chlorine.
Stay tuned for the next installment on how to revive your pool after a hurricane. And let us know if you have any tips or suggestions for making life easier when nature is at its worst, by sharing them in the comments.