Do you keep up with the weather? You may have heard, via one of several weather reports, that the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be quieter than usual… sounds like good news! But while our fingers are crossed that no major storms come our way, it never hurts to be prepared. Many pool owners often find themselves wondering how to best protect their pool during a storm—and their first instinct might not always be the best course of action. Let’s look at the best pool-protection tips, and clear up the few misconceptions many owners may have.
General storm readiness
Even if there’s not a big tropical storm or hurricane on its way, it’s smart to prepare your pool and yard, even for those notorious summer afternoon storms! In quiet weather, test your pool’s deck drains and check for any dirt or debris that might be clogged in them, which can lead to small floods during heavy rains.
In the summer, it’s generally a safe bet to trim heavy branches that hang precariously over or nearby your pool. This will lessen the degree of debris that a big storm can cause, and will also keep your home’s windows safe. Make sure there isn’t any tall grass or anything surrounding the edge of the pool that could prevent overflow from safely draining into your yard.
You should clear out a space in your garage or shed where you can safely stow away your grill, chairs, pool toys and other items should a big storm roll in.
In the event of a hurricane…
Again, we hope this season is a quiet one! But it helps to know your plan before the potential of a big storm ever becomes a reality.
One of the biggest misconceptions about pool protection we hear from time to time is to drain your pool completely. Don’t do this! Empty pools experience a drastic change of pressure and they can actually lift up out of their foundation, cracking the structure they’re made of. Your water level should be left as is in the event of a big storm or hurricane—if overflow does happen, it should be able to drain throughout your deck and backyard.
You may think your patio furniture is heavy enough to withstand high winds, but it can be surprisingly light when a large-enough storm rolls in! To air on the side of caution, you should place your furniture, floats, toys, grill and other items in the garage, shed or another safe space. If this isn’t feasible or you don’t have the storage space, you can gently place PVC chairs, tables and other furniture into your concrete pool—be careful not to scratch the side of your pool in the process! Don’t try to do this with other materials, especially not glass. If glass or another breakable material were to shatter in or around the pool, it would be a safety hazard for swimmers as it’d be next to impossible to collect and clean up the tiny shards.
Hurricane preparedness for your pool doesn’t have to be hard… just follow the steps above and you’ll be well on your way to a safe, worry-free season.