Owning a pool in Florida presents its own set of challenges when it comes to hurricane season. There are many steps of precaution you can take to ensure the safety of your pool, home, and family.
Here are 10 things every pool owner should know about preparing for a hurricane:
Trim Trees & Bushes
Loose tree branches are likely to become airborne from the wind of a storm. Trimming trees and bushes down as much as you can before a storm hits can prevent flying debris around your home.
Store Items in a Safe Place
Pool equipment can become dangerous blowing objects during a hurricane. Be sure to store all equipment in a safe, indoor place such as your basement or a storage unit. Furniture, umbrellas, grills, pool cleaners, toys, and more are all examples of things that should be stored away for safety.
Do not Drain the Pool
Many pool owners think draining is a helpful precaution before a hurricane. Doing this can cause your pool to pop out of the ground due to the surrounding pressure from excess groundwater. This can cause severe damage to your pool and prevents more dangers during a storm.
Leave Cover Off
It is a common desire amongst pool owners to use their cover in preparation for a hurricane. Flying debris or falling branches can easily damage your pool cover and require a replacement afterwards. It is easier to just clean up the debris in the pool during a recovery period.
Extra Chlorine Can Help
Adding extra chlorine to the water can prevent contamination from excess water and debris a hurricane presents. The key is to lower the pH to about 7.2 to start, then add a “shock” dose of chlorine. Consider running the filter after this process to circulate the water.
Take Before & After Pictures
While anticipating damage from a hurricane, it is always a good idea to take before and after pictures of your pool and home. This will be extremely beneficial in the case of needing to file an insurance claim. It is important to know what specific damage the hurricane caused.
Turn off All Electrically Powered Equipment
Before a hurricane hits, be sure to turn off all circuit breakers from the main panel. You do not want any electrical equipment to be actively operating during a storm. Pumps and filters can remain on during the initial stages of the storm, but should be turned off before heavy rain and lightning begin. Keep everything off until the hurricane has passed.
Protect Electrical Equipment
Once all equipment has been turned off, make sure to cover it up! The pump motor, light transformers, heaters, and all other equipment should be wrapped in a waterproof plastic membrane, tied securely, and placed in a safe place.
Clean Filter After Storm
While recovering from a storm, it is important to thoroughly clean or backwash your pool filter. Make sure to do this before running the system again, until the water runs clear. Be sure to reference your personal manufacturer’s guide to do so properly.
Call Your Local Pool Store for Extra Help
If you have questions or need any assistance during hurricane season, call your local pool store for more insight.