Preparing Your Pool for Hurricane Irma

When preparing for an impending storm or hurricane, pool owners should take a few extra precautions. Here we have compiled a list some do’s and don’ts to help you out. While some tasks may seem like common sense, others may surprise you.

DO

  • Check the drainage of your deck or patio around the pool- Water should run unobstructed out of the ends of the drain to low spots in your yard away from the house and deck. Test for blockages such as dirt or mulch. If you don’t have a deck drain, then make sure high grass, stones, etc. are not blocking the edge of the deck allowing water to flow.  If your pool is properly equipped with adequate drains and skimmers and the surrounding area is properly drained, the pool 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.
  • Trim surrounding trees of any extra limbs or branches which may cause damage during high winds to your home, pool equipment, or screen enclosure.
  • Turn off power to the pool equipment at the circuit breaker before the storm hits- Including the motor, pump, filter, heater, chlorinators, and lighting. This will help prevent potentially hazardous electrical problems resulting from flooding. Securely cover pumps and motors with a large tarp to help against rain and wind too.
  • Decking and Screens- Some damage to the frame of your enclosed screen structure may be avoided if you provide a “vent” for wind to scale through. Panels in screens may be removed on either side of the pool area. Doors, which are especially vulnerable, might be removed completely.
  • Store loose pool toys, patio furniture and potted plants inside- Much of the damage caused during storms by loose debris could have been avoided if items were properly stored. If you cannot store them inside, objects made of plastic or PVC can gently be placed in your pool to shield them from high winds and turning them into flying projectiles.  – But wait! Some restrictions apply…

DON’T

  • Don’t just drop items in the pool as this can damage the pool surface- And never put any metal or glass in the pool at any time. If glass shatters, it is very difficult to recover every little piece and metal can cause staining.
  • Don’t put objects in a vinyl or fiberglass pool- If your pool is made of vinyl or fiberglass, avoid putting objects in them as this could tear the vinyl liner and the fiberglass can scratch.
  • Don’t drain your pool- We cannot emphasize this one enough! Never drain your pool in anticipation of a storm. Wind can remove more water from the pool and pools that have been emptied may experience serious structural problems and can even be lifted or “pop” from their foundations. Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the important weight to hold the sides and bottom in place. This is especially important if heavy rains raise the local water table. If you feel like you must remove some water, then drain it about 2-3 inches
  • There is no need to pre-treat your pool before an impending storm- Chances are whatever you put in your pool stands a high possibility of being blown out. It is far easier (and cheaper) to just treat the pool after the storm has subsided. Additional damages, if any, can be addressed at the same time.
  • Most importantly, stay safe- Have a plan ahead of time. Know your evacuation routes, (routes might have changed) and keep up on local news and weather advisories. Please, if you’re told to evacuate, then evacuate.