Let’s face it; it has been quite a miserable winter. We’ve seen storms, heavy rain, hail and even flooding. Extra water, unwanted dirt, debris and other pollutants place a huge strain on our pools structure and equipment.
These are nine tips to help protect your pool when bad weather hits.
Before the storm…
1. Keep your pool full! Although draining your pool before a storm to prevent overflow may seem like the right thing to do, the weight of the existing water will prevent it from lifting out the ground. Rain will cause surrounding soil to swell and the excessive moisture will force an end or a side to lift out of the ground. This can happen to all types of in-ground pools, ranging from concrete to vinyl to fiberglass. Furthermore, water in the pool will act as your last line of defence in regards to protecting the pool wall from flying debris.
If you have an above ground pool it is still necessary to keep your pool full. The pool wall relies on the water to maintain its strength and shape. The weight of the water also provides a down force, preventing it from blowing away or causing damage in serious wind.
If you are worried about significant overflow and damage to surrounding areas, we recommend lowering the water levels by 5-8cm and closing the skimmer.
2. Remove loose items from the pool and surrounding areas. Any toys, floats, sun chairs, plants or nearby patio furniture should be removed. It is essential you minimise the risk of any outdoor items damaging your pool and surrounding areas, as strong winds can have devastating effects.
3. Turn the power off. Damage to electrical equipment can have serious repercussions particularly if flooding occurs.
4. Balance the water, add algaecides or extra chlorine to help ease contamination and save you trouble in the clean up. Our BioGuard Algi Destroyer is an effective destroyer of stubborn algae infestations.
5. For extreme conditions you may want to disconnect the pump motor and cover and secure it with a tarp. If you have a solar cover, make sure to roll it up and secure it or bring indoors.
After the storm…
6. Once it’s safe to return outside, inspect all equipment before turning the power back on. Any damage should be dealt with as soon as possible. Turning the power back on will let you know if you have missed anything. It’s important to report anything different about your pool system as any issue left too long will have long-term consequences.
7. Using your pool rake and skimmer, clean the pool of any debris and leaves and remove anything from your pump strainer and BioGuard Skimmer Sock. They will most likely need to be cleaned to prevent clogging and changed if damaged. Vacuum the pool, either manually or automatically and run the pump and filter.
8. Check the pH and alkalinity levels are normal. Often a heavy downpour will change the levels in your pool, causing swimmer discomfort when it’s time to return to swimming and interfering with the action of your pool sanitiser. We recommend pH levels sit at 7.2 – 7.8 (7.0 – 7.2 in fiberglass pools) and total Alkalinity sits at 100 – 150 ppm.
9. Finally, the most important. Heavy rains can refresh and replenish your pool water. Backwash and clean your filter with the excess water until your water level returns to normal. It’s the ‘free-est’, ‘fresh-est’ water you will ever get, don’t miss the opportunity to use it.
So keep an eye out for bad weather and follow these tips. In the long run this will save you time, money and potential heartache.