Living in Florida would make anyone hyper-aware of hurricane season. But with so many conflicting opinions on property protection and mitigation efforts, it can be challenging to find what really works.
Pools and spas are a good example — many blogs and articles detail conflicting or questionable ways and tips to care for your pool before and after hurricanes. Calm Waters is here to dispel confusion and help you adequately protect your pool from Florida’s stormy weather.
Hurricanes can devastate any part of a home, including your pool. With the high winds, flooding, and flying debris, your swimming pool is vulnerable, left outside to fend for itself. While you can’t guarantee that severe storms will spare your pool, you can use mitigation tactics to reduce its chances of damage.
There’s a lot of information on the internet about what kind of pre-hurricane pool care is and isn’t important. Here’s the breakdown of what you should do and avoid when considering your pool’s maintenance before a storm.
Remove your pool covers and automatic pool cleaners and store them so they won’t get caught in the high winds. You’re almost guaranteed to lose them if you don’t.
Don’t forget about what surrounds your pool, either. Patio furniture, grills, or other large objects that aren’t tied down could quickly become cannon fodder in the storm’s high winds. Not only is this dangerous for you and your home, but it can also damage the items themselves or your pool.
If you can’t bring items indoors or somewhere safe, consider tying them down to keep them out of your pool.
You can make a special consideration for diving boards or slides: if you’re worried they may break off and become a problem, you can have a professional remove them and put them somewhere safe.
Another often-forgotten but efficient step is checking with your homeowner’s insurance to see if you have any coverage should your pool need heavy maintenance or repairs. Knowing this can help you prepare accordingly and give you peace of mind.
There’s so much going through your head before a tropical storm. Homeowners have to worry about boarding up windows, ensuring family stays safe, and keeping an eye on the storm’s path. Ease some burdens by calling Calm Waters for hurricane pool care before or after the storm. It’s so much easier with the help of professionals who care.
An important footnote: focus on your safety first. Hurricanes can be deadly, so always prioritize yourself before your property. Professionals can handle the fallout should anything happen to your pool, so don’t hesitate to be cautious and forgo any of the steps or recommendations if you feel you could be in danger.
When a hurricane is on its way, you’ll have many preparations to consider. The best way to ensure everything gets done is to have an easy-to-access list of what a pool owner should focus on to protect their pool. Here’s what the Calm Waters pool experts recommend for Florida pool owners facing an incoming hurricane.
Homeowners often feel tempted to drain their pool before a big storm, thinking it can counteract potential flooding. But an empty pool is much more likely to be damaged or even lifted off its foundation. It’s an extra step you don’t need and could potentially make things worse, so avoid draining at all costs.
You can, however, lower the water level by a foot or two, especially if you don’t have good drainage around your pool.
Shocking your pool with large amounts of chlorine is vital. The storm could leave you without power, meaning filters and cleaners won’t work, and the pool’s chemistry could go haywire. You can either super chlorinate your pool or shock it as usual.
This is also an excellent opportunity to clear the pool of any dirt and floating debris and clean out the satellite components like pumps, skimmers, pump baskets, and drains.
If you’re unfamiliar with shocking or you’re using a new product, remember to read the safety warnings and any instructions on the side of the chemical solution.
You should also brush your pool after you add your shock to lower the chances of bleaching and to scrape off any scum or algae stuck to the walls. Your pool will look murky afterward, but this is normal and a sign that everything is working as intended.
Use your circuit breaker to cut off all power to your pool before the storm. If you have exposed electrical equipment around your pool, cover each component tightly with plastic wrap so it doesn’t get wet. You can also play it extra safe and disconnect electrical components and move them somewhere away from the pool, especially if you anticipate heavy rains that could cause flooding.
It should be evident that you wouldn’t want to go for a dip during a hurricane, but it’s wise not to go in before the storm, either.
Even if the storm is just starting, hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable; lightning could strike, or heavy winds could whip up at any moment. When this happens, you’ll want to be far away from your pool, so focus on protecting it rather than using it when you know a storm is heading your way.
A maintenance call before the hurricane could be beneficial if you have enough advance notice. If there’s anything wrong with your pool, the storm will likely only worsen things. A professional addressing these issues could save you money and headache when the storm is over.
If you opt not to call for maintenance before the storm, or if there’s not enough time, we encourage you to do so once the storm passes.
The aftermath of a hurricane can be just as stressful as the preparation. There’s so much to deal with, and depending on the extent of the hurricane’s damage, you might have a long list that requires fast prioritization.
Fortunately, post-hurricane care for swimming pools is similar to pre-storm preparation. The Calm Waters team has your back; here’s the pool maintenance you should perform once the storm passes.
If you followed the above advice, your pool should still be full — and you want to keep it that way. Don’t drain your pool after a storm, either. Testing your water to see where the chemistry landed after the storm is a great place to start.
Test strips will let you know the pH and alkalinity of the water. You can also opt for a more cursory lab test, which your insurance may cover.
Once you rebalance your pool’s levels, you can adjust other chemicals like chlorine or calcium as needed. It’s also an excellent time to shock your water again. You can request this testing service and treatments as a part of your hurricane pool care from Calm Waters.
How did your pool fare during the hurricane? Double-check for damage that could impact how your pool operates or how well it stays clean. Address these issues as quickly as possible by calling in industry pool professionals. Doing so immediately ensures the water’s health and the pool’s damage doesn’t worsen.
Cleaning can involve many tasks, like removing debris or shocking your pool a second time. You should also check filters and baskets and clean them before you turn them back on.
Cleaning can be time-consuming, depending on the extent of the damage. You can always count on the experts at Calm Waters to take care of this step for you.
If the damage was considerable enough, there could be an argument for draining and refilling your pool. The only time you should do this is upon recommendation from a pool maintenance specialist, and you should never attempt to do it yourself. This process is involved and requires a licensed professional to complete it safely.
Depending on how long the pool will sit with dirty water, draining your pool may be the best option. Timing is critical, and you may not be able to drain the pool if the water grid is down after the storm. Regardless, it’s best to have a professional assess and clean the pool to avoid having to drain your pool entirely.
Before turning on the electrical, you want to know everything is fully dry. A professional should check anything that looks like it was exposed to water that could still be within the system.
Don’t bother with this step until the storm has passed; otherwise, you’ll just have to dry everything off again. Be as cautious as possible here, and make sure all circuit breakers and equipment are shut completely off before you reconnect anything.
One test and cleaning aren’t enough to ensure your pool is ready to use. You’ll want to monitor your pool’s chemical levels and pH over the next few days until it stabilizes. You can also use this time to triple-check equipment for cleanliness, waterlogging, or damages that could require the expertise of a professional.
Even if you do everything right on the surface, sometimes the less apparent issues cause the most problems. Biological issues from organic matter mixing with the water are often understated compared to property damage. Florida homeowners must consider how risky it can be to use their pool before they know it’s safe.
Your pool is almost guaranteed not to be ready for use right after a hurricane. It’s always important to assess the risks and consider what steps you still need to take to get back to baseline.
If you see murky, cloudy water after the storm and you haven’t just shocked it, there’s a good chance your pool is riddled with bacteria, algae, and even pathogens you don’t want anywhere near you.
Contaminated water from your roof or landscape can easily intermingle with pool water during a storm. It’s also possible that the chemicals from the pool shock are still too high for swimming and could cause skin irritation or discomfort.
Some organisms that are more dangerous to humans are also tolerant to even high levels of chlorine. If you think dead animals have contaminated your pool water, it could harbor E. coli or cryptosporidium. You’ll need professional-grade pool cleaning and specialty cleansers to ensure your pool is safe to use again.
This risk is a significant reason why it’s so crucial to clear out debris immediately. Debris can house all sorts of bacteria that could impact your pool’s cleanliness and health. And the debris isn’t always minor, like a board or a patio table. The extraordinary force of hurricanes means your pool water could be contaminated with just about anything.
Electrical issues are another major concern. Damaged electrical components don’t always make themselves immediately known. Anything wet or broken could be hazardous, not only when using the pool but also when operating anything else associated with it.
It’s not worth assuming everything’s okay — take the time to guarantee your safety by contacting professionals who can evaluate the damage.
It’s essential to follow all safety steps before getting in your pool again. For the best care, you can also call a pool maintenance professional like Calm Waters to ensure your pool’s pH and cleanliness are healthy enough to use. This is an easy way to take one stressor off your plate after worrying about the storms.
Florida homeowners need someone on their side to help guide them through the troubling storm season. At Calm Waters, we make it our goal to be there for you with our extensive pool services whenever you need us.
Contact our team, conveniently serving the Gulf Cities, Northern Florida, South Alabama, and more for pre- or post-storm pool maintenance and care, and we’ll help you get back in the water in no time — safely.