It’s hurricane season again, and even though Dorian managed to swing North and largely avoided Florida, long-time residents of Lakewood Ranch know that it’s only a matter of time until a major storm makes landfall here, too. As such, the team here at Ocean Blue Pools and Spas wants to help provide you with as much information as possible about how to protect your swimming pool and/or spa this hurricane season.
Given that there are no guarantees when it comes to what kind of havoc a storm might wreak in your absence, we’re also here as your dedicated, local pool maintenance team, so you can get back up and running fast once the weather clears.
To schedule pool maintenance or to get supplies if you’re more of the do-it-yourself kind of person, visit us online or stop by our shop today. Otherwise, continue reading today’s blog post to learn seven important tips for keeping your pool safe during a hurricane.
Leave The Water In Your Pool
To be honest, we’re not entirely sure why you would want to drain it anyway. Filling a pool adds a noticeable amount to your monthly water bill, and most water-quality challenges you might face after a hurricane can be solved with cleaning, chemicals, and a knowing hand.
Make sure to leave the water in your pool. Chances are good that your pool was designed to drain when over-full, and will do just that as the rains wash over it during a storm. An empty pool actually becomes a liability. Believe it or not, the high water table in Florida can actually rise even higher when we are inundated with major rain from hurricanes. That pressure in the ground is capable of actually lifting an empty pool — yes, even a concrete shell pool — up and out of its footprint, leaving you with an unusable, empty shell.
Kill The Power
During a storm, falling trees, blowing debris, and other objects that find themselves out of place can all cause damage to your electrical pool equipment. While you can do your best to avoid such hazards, you can’t guarantee there won’t be some damage. However, one thing you can 100% prevent is an electrical fire caused by those falling or blowing objects.
Fires are a greater threat than people realize during storms and floods, mostly due to electrical lines that are damaged, exposed, or overworked when they should have been turned off. Make sure that you don’t face fire or electrocution risks from your pool equipment by shutting off the power at the breaker box in your home.
Protect and Store Your Pool Equipment
Continuing on the topic of pool equipment, make sure to secure as much of it as you can. From skimmers to pool cleaners to the chemicals you conveniently leave in a tackle box next to your filter, make sure that everything that isn’t secured or fastened to the ground is stored in a place where it is unlikely to get lost, damaged, or cause damage to other parts of your property.
In some cases where you have a fair amount of warning, we also recommend protecting your pool pump and other electrical equipment by wrapping them in waterproof plastic. Make sure that they are secured well, or water and sand may still find their way into your system. If time allows, or if flooding is expected, we recommend removing as much of your electrical equipment as possible. Although it may be a time investment to do so, you’ll at least save money when you don’t have to replace all of it.
Remove Loose Items From Around The Pool
If your pool gets used regularly, then there is likely an assortment of pool toys, lounging chairs, and possibly some other furniture that all needs to be stowed. Just think of what will happen to that umbrella table if it isn’t taken down and stored indoors.
Don’t be lazy about picking these items up as a failure to do so can mean that the hurricane can turn your beloved poolside furniture into deadly and destructive missiles. At best, you’ll be buying new furniture because the items you left out will most likely find themselves in an entirely different neighborhood.
During a hurricane, your pool WILL accumulate debris — there is no doubt about this. What exactly the debris will be will have to wait and be seen. Some lucky few will end up with heavy pool furniture, palm fronds, and other obnoxious, but relatively benign things in their pool.
Others, for reasons that defy cosmic justice, will end up with every single piece of organic garbage that was in the neighborhood the day the storm hit, turning their pool into a decaying soup of trash. For this reason, we strongly recommend adding an additional, and healthy, dose of chlorine before the storm hits.
The worst thing that happens is that you have to let your pool “cool off” and can’t use it for a few days afterward.
Leave Your Pool Uncovered
Do not cover your pool. Whether you have a simple pool cover or something elaborate, you are much better off cleaning your pool than you are paying to replace and install a new cover. During a hurricane, the size of debris that can be toppled or blown is more than enough to demolish even the hardiest of pool covers on the market.
Leaving your pool uncovered will prevent you from dealing with a damaged pool cover AND a dirty pool.
Protect Your Screen, Enclosure, or Pool Fence
If you have a screen, fence, or another barrier around your pool, you need to figure out how you can best protect it. Screens are lightweight enough that they are unlikely to survive a hurricane and still be useable. Taking them down is always the best option if possible.
Fencing can be different. While open, metal fences are likely to hold up well against wind due to the gaps between bars, other fences might need to have some slats or sections removed to allow the wind to move through them without blowing them down outright.
Get Pool Maintenance Help From Ocean Blue Pools and Spas
Whether you need some help recovering from the storm, or you’re just looking to ease your time commitment to caring for your pool, Ocean Blue Pools and Spas is here to help. As a trusted name in pool services throughout the Lakewood Ranch community, we’re happy to offer our services at affordable prices. To learn more about how we can help, visit us online, or stop by and see us at our store.