Preparing Your Pool for Severe Summer Weather
When a severe summer storm is in the forecast for pool owners, they need to take some important steps to protect their investment. These storms can cause pools to be polluted with debris such as dirt, mud, silt, and bacteria. While there is no way to keep pools debris-free, there are a few things a pool owner can do to protect their pool and equipment from damages, as well as potential bacteria and algae growth that can result from severe weather. Below are a few guidelines to follow in the case of a weather-related event to ensure that your pool will be in the best possible shape.
Refrain from removing the water from your pool. While the idea to remove water is to prevent overflowing or water contamination, you can cause more damage to your pool. Draining your pool leaves the pool walls and floor unprotected, vulnerable to scratches or damage by flying debris. Not only that, but an above ground pool without water can potentially pop up and "float" on the rising water table. Keeping the water inside the pool, despite the contamination after a storm, will prove an easier clean up than had the water been removed altogether.
Installing any kind of cover across the pool will not do much to protect against dust and contaminants. This is because storms often bring strong winds and heavy rain that can cause the cover to lift from your pool. Also, placing your cover over your pool leaves it defenseless to sharp branches, lawn furniture, and other debris that can become airborne during a storm. Keeping the cover off your pool during a storm prevents unwanted damage to the cover and having to deal with the difficult removal if the cover is full of water and debris.
Even though you will most likely need to shock and balance your pool after a severe storm, balancing and adding algae controller to the water beforehand will save you a lot of work after the weather has subsided. By balancing your pool chemistry and adding a large dose of an algae controller, most of the organic contaminants that are blown into your pool will be quickly and easily eliminated. Any of the contaminants that do remain in your pool should be destroyed by shocking your pool after the storm.
If there is time before the storm, remove any toys, furniture, and other items and store them in a safe place like a shed or basement. Never put objects into the pool to protect them from the storm. This could damage the objects and cause serious metal staining problems for your pool water.
It's a good idea to trim back branches and limbs from nearby trees, regardless if there is a storm approaching. Large and overgrown branches can snap off easily and often become dangerous projectiles during storms. A little routine maintenance throughout the pool season can go a long way in protecting your pool.
Finally, it is imperative to turn off the power to your pool equipment to prevent potentially dangerous electrical issues. This includes the pump, motor, filter, heater, chlorinator, and light fixtures. Large amounts of rain, wind, and debris could still cause damage to these items, so you will want to cover them with a large plastic tarp or waterproof covering and make sure that the covering is tied down tightly to avoid water from getting into the equipment.
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