Fall is right around the corner and that means one thing for many communities in the United States: Hurricane season is upon us. Forceful rains and rip-roaring winds can tear away at communities, causing millions of dollars in damage.
Unfortunately, your swimming pool is no exception. Here are 7 important steps you can take before the storm hits, however, to protect your poolscape as much as possible.
1. Test Your Drainage
The goal is to have as much water move as quickly away from your home, pool, and decking as possible. One way to test this is to grab a garden hose, spray water onto the deck and then observe how quickly the water disappears. Pay attention to any pooling of the water, as these areas may require some extra work to ensure that the water drains properly.
Here are some other key pointers which may help with water drainage:
- If your deck is painted, some of the slats might be painted over. Push the paint through with a small flat screwdriver to open the slats
- If there is dirt inside of the drain, insert your garden hose or a power washer from one side and try to flush it out
- Remove any mulch, dirt or grass which may be blocking the end of the drain
2. Trim Back Potential Debris
If you needed an excuse to do some landscaping, this is a good one. Trimming back bushes, branches, and other debris (especially if it’s dead) will go a long way in protecting your property, your pool, and reducing the amount of clean up you’ll be doing after the storm.
3. Leave the Pool Uncovered
It may seem counterintuitive to leave your pool uncovered during a hurricane. After all, don’t you want to prevent the water from becoming contaminated by massive amounts of rain and organic debris?
Whenever possible, store away any pool covers and spa covers to keep them in good usable shape. Pool covers often become damaged when left on during a hurricane. Not only that, but removing a cover that is loaded down with rain water and heavy debris is an incredibly difficult task.
4. Take Care of Your Pool Water
Do not empty the water from your pool. Having a sufficient amount of water in the pool is critical in ensuring that the pool will not become structurally damaged or become lifted off of its foundation.
Another good precaution is to super chlorinate your pool water prior to the storm’s arrival. This will help keep contamination to a minimum.
5. Shut Off the Power
All electricity should be cut from the pool before the storm. Turn off all circuit breakers at the main electrical panel to ensure that pool equipment like the pool lighting, pump motors, chlorinators and heaters are not in operation. If you have a gas heater, shut off the gas at the valve.
6. Protect Your Pool Equipment
Grab some waterproof plastic and wrap up exposed pool equipment. This may include:
- Pool pump
- Light transformers
- Time clock
- Electric heater
Tie the plastic securely in place. If you think that these areas may flood, disconnect these devices and store them in a protected dry area.
If there are loose items around the pool (such as tables, chairs and toys), make sure that these are placed in a secure location during the storm. These seemingly harmless items can become dangerous or even deadly projectiles in strong winds. It’s not recommended that these items be placed in the pool, particularly if you have a vinyl liner pool as the liner will be more prone to rips and tears.
7. Create Pathways for High Travelling Winds
Pool owners with a safety fence should consider removing screen panels from opposite sides of the pool. This will create a ventilation system so the wind can flow through, preventing possible damage to your safety fence. For their safety, children and pets should not be allowed in the backyard during this time.
About Tampa Bay Pools
Tampa Bay Pools is a custom pool builder serving Tampa Bay, Brandon, Clearwater, Riverview, Lithia, Valrico, Odessa, Lutz, Plant City, Davenport, Seffner, and St. Petersburg areas, who understands the importance and value of your own backyard escape. That’s why we build spectacular new inground swimming pools that are easy to maintain.
We offer a wide variety of custom projects including residential or commercial swimming pool building, stunning custom features to customize your pool, outdoor enclosures for your backyard oasis, and custom spas.
Our pools can be designed to fit any style or budget; we even offer swimming pool financing options.