A Midwestern storm has the potential to be a major weather event. Typically these storms come with lightning, hail, heavy rain, high winds, and sometimes flash flooding. In July of 2012, the Chicago area was hit with a destructive thunderstorm that resulted in widespread power outages, downed trees, and wind damage. Obviously, we are powerless to control Mother Nature, but we can be prepared in advance. As a pool owner, what can you do to protect your pool in a severe storm? Read on for some basic tips from Aqua Pools.
Do Not Drain Your Pool
Lowering the water level or emptying your pool is a bad idea. First, you do not want to expose the walls and other surfaces of your pool to damage from flying debris. Second, if the ground becomes saturated enough, it can cause an empty pool to rise up or “pop-out” of its position. A pool filled with water is not as likely to do this.
Do Not Cover Your Pool
It may seem that you would want to cover your pool to prevent debris from blowing into it, but it turns out it is best not to. Your pool cover could sustain serious damage from flying tree limbs or other heavy objects that may land on it. Also, it could happen that if the winds are truly excessive, the pool cover could be blown off entirely and fly like a huge kite into someone else’s yard. Avoid those scenarios by removing your pool cover.
Clear the Decks
Put away all pool toys, store pool furniture, and tuck your barbeque grill away. Anything sitting loose out on the deck could potentially be blown into the pool, causing damage to it and to the pool.
Protect Your Pool Equipment
Prior to a major storm hitting your area, turn off the electrical supply to your pool equipment, and flip the circuit breakers to the “off” position. Pumps, filters, heaters, and automation systems are vulnerable to power surges if the electricity is left on. Also, if you expect any sort of flooding, you can position sandbags around the base of your pool equipment to keep some of the water away. Covering your equipment with a heavy tarp and securing it with duct tape can also help protect it.
At first, it may seem not to make sense, but it is a good idea to test and balance your water chemicals prior to the storm. Adding algaecide and shock might be wise as well. The reason for this is if you lose power and the pool filter is not running for a few days, your pool water will have a chance of staying in decent condition until things are up and running again.
Once the coast is clear and the storm has blown through, you will inevitably have some clean-up work ahead of you. The first step will be to remove any large pieces of debris. Next, the pool will need a thorough cleaning including emptying skimmer baskets, physical removal of debris from the water, and brushing and vacuuming of the pool surfaces. Also, check your water chemistry again and make necessary adjustments. Rain tends to be acidic and affects the pH of the water.
What is the best way to protect your pool in severe weather? The top advice is to be aware of the weather, plan ahead, and be proactive to protect your investment. We don’t always have a lot of lead time to prepare for a thunderstorm in our area, so it is best to have a game plan in place in advance. The experts at Aqua Pools are available before and after a big storm to help with all your questions and supplies.