The official start of Hurricane season is upon us. Do you have your families storm preparation, emergency plan and evacuation plan in place? Do your plans include steps to secure your pool before the storm arrives? They Should!
Now is the time to make sure you know how to secure your swimming pool before an expected storm. Here are some common questions with answers from the Florida Swimming Pool Association:
Should I drain my pool?
The number one rule: Do not empty your pool.
Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the important weight to hold the sides and bottom in place, especially when heavy rains that accompany most storms raise the local water table. Pools which have been emptied may experience serious subsidence problems and could even be lifted off their foundation.
Should I lower the water level in my pool?
If your pool is properly equipped with adequate drains and skimmers and the surrounding area is properly drained, the water level can probably be left as it is.
In cases when surrounding structures might be damaged by the water before it can run off naturally, the experts recommend lowering the pool’s water level by one to two feet.
Should I do anything to the pool water chemistry?
Yes, it is recommended that you super chlorinate the pool water. You should “shock the pool” in your normal manner.
Should I leave my automatic equipment and electrical systems turned on?
It is important that all electric power be turned off at the circuit breakers before the storm hits. Any exposed electrical equipment such as motors for the pumps should be tightly covered with plastic wrap (if flooding is expected they may be disconnected and removed).
Should I take any special precautions with my decking and screens?
Some damage to the frame of your enclosed screen structure may be avoided if you provide a “vent” for wind to escape through. Panels in screens may be removed on either side of the pool area. Doors, which are especially vulnerable, might be removed completely.
Should I throw my pool furniture into the pool?
No, but the key word is “throw.” Never throw or drop anything into a pool that could damage the pool walls or bottom (especially vinyl lined or fiberglass). It is best to remove any and all loose object such as chairs, tables, pool equipment and even toys which can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. If you cannot store them inside a building, carefully and gently placing them in the pool will help shield them from the winds. Be very careful in doing so, and remember, pool chemicals may damage them. This is not recommended.
Should commercial pool facilities take any additional special precautions?
Specialists in commercial pools remind owners / operators of the following points:
Stored chemicals should be removed to a safe, high and dry location. Remember, some chemicals, when mixed, can produce dangerous gases; others, if wetted can cause fires.
Sump pits should be cleaned and sump pumps should be checked. A portable gasoline-operated pump is helpful if power is not restored quickly.
Pools near apartment units / motel rooms should have water levels lowered by one to two feet if potential flooding is a factor.
Remove all loose items around the pool area including trash cans, ashtrays, nets, etc.
Equipment covers should be secured by being latched or bolted down.
Above all, be assured that your Pristine Pool & Patio technician is always avvailabel to answer all of your questions should it be necessary to prepare your pool for an approaching storm.
Our Next post: Hello Hurricane Season Part 2: After the Storm