Preparing a Pool for Strong Fall Storms

Preparing a pool for fall is a necessary task in the Sunshine State, though the temperatures remain quite warm, the rain will continue. It’s a familiar trend that happens every year; and, for residents in coastal retreats, like Sarasota, it’s not only the inconvenience of having to dodge morning drizzles, daytime sun showers, and evening downpours, it’s also being prepared for the remainder of hurricane season. Running from the first day of June right through the last day of November, it’s the months between September and December when tropical activity is at its height.

Even if your pool is strategically protected from falling leaves and debris by a birdcage, that doesn’t protect it from rain flooding. For homeowners with completely exposed pools, you already know your old, trusty pool leaf skimmer will be put to good use over the next several weeks.

With peak storm season now upon us, leaves and other common debris won’t be your only concern. Heavy rains, tropical storms, and even Category 1 hurricanes can cause a lot of damage to your home, your landscaping, and, to your pool. Getting ready now will save you time and money later.

Proper Pool Maintenance and Safety

As the days become shorter, combined with more daytime cloud cover and cooler overnight lows, that warm water will cool off, especially as the month of October ticks off the calendar. You and your family won’t be able to enjoy your pool much longer but just because you aren’t splashing and swimming about doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

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. Never empty your pool. Pools that have been emptied may experience serious structural problems and could even be lifted off their foundations. —Sun Sentinel

If you’ve not kept-up the pH balance, now is the time to get it balanced out right. You’ll also need to test your deck or patio to ensure it’s properly draining water away from your home and pool to the yard. Most have built-in drainage systems, but as the years go by, they might become clogged. With all the excess rain, you could easily mistake a clog for increased amounts of rainfall. Take a garden hose and spray your deck or patio to test its drainage and address any problems right away.

One thing homeowners might be concerned about is flooding. If a big storm is on the way, it might not only overfill their pool but be too much for the drainage system, causing water to enter their homes. Since most pools have about three inches of room between the top and the water, this isn’t usually a reality. However, if a tropical storm or hurricane is moving toward your home, you might want to drain it a bit more. Have a professional do this because if you drain it too much, you risk damaging your pool.

Preparing a Pool for Strong Fall Storms in Florida

In addition to storms which are known to be coming your way, you’ve also got to think about those random pop-up downpours which deluge your pool with more than water. Here are some tips about what you ought to do to prepare for inclement weather:

  • Trim trees now. Those trees which are regularly littering your pool with leaves will drop even more debris during big storms. Before the storms begin to hit, trim those troublesome trees to keep larger objects from falling into your pool, which can introduce enough debris to clog your system.
  • Store unanchored objects away. Prior to a storm hitting, particularly ones of tropical strength and stronger, put your outdoor furnishings into storage. If you don’t have room but a concrete pool, gently place them inside your pool. Should your pool be vinyl or fiberglass, find a different storage place.
  • Clean the filtration system. This is a good time to go through every part of your filtration system. Those daily rain storms will put a lot of stress on it and the system ought to be able to handle more than usual. Go through all of your filtration system and replace anything that’s worn-out or damaged.
  • Turn off the electrical system. If there’s a tropical storm or hurricane approaching, it’s best to turn your system off. You can remove any foreign objects and debris after the storm passes, then turn your system back on.

In addition, after a big storm passes, be sure to balance your pool again by super-shocking it. Super-chlorinate your pool to restore its pH balance as flooding will carry more chemicals, making the water a health risk. Never swim in a pool that’s been exposed to heavy storm flooding as it will likely contain pesticides and herbicides, even animal waste, all of which, are health hazards.

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