The 2022 hurricane season is in full swing and it’s important to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. This even includes making the swimming pool or whirlpool stormproof.
You may think your swimming pool doesn’t need to be “stormproof,” but the experts say it definitely is. Overlooking the pool while preparing for a hurricane can put you at greater risk of damage to your home or even the pool itself.
But by following these seven tips from the National Hurricane Center, you can prepare your pool and hot tub for hurricanes and avoid a disaster for your home.
1. Take off the cover
Your instinct may be to cover the pool or hot tub before a storm, but experts say that’s actually the worst thing you can do. The cover we normally use to keep debris out of the water can turn an above ground pool and hot tub into a flying object in a hurricane. The wind blowing across the cover could throw it up into the air and into your home. Always remove the cover before a storm.
2. Don’t drain the water, fill it up!
As tempting as it may be, draining the hot tub or pool before a storm is a bad idea. The best you can do is fill them up as high as possible. Lowering the water does not prevent flooding, it damages the structure of the foundation of the pool and hot tub. An above ground pool or hot tub with low water levels is at risk of being pushed up or drifting away during a hurricane.
The same goes for an in-ground pool. Filling the pool gives it weight to keep it in the ground. Empty or low pools can pop out of the ground thanks to the buoyancy pressure caused by excessive rain. Experts recommend installing a siphon hose in the pool to get excess water out of the pool in the event of an overflow.
3. Filters, disinfects and shocks before the storm
Storms have a bad habit of clogging a pool filter. Turning off the filter and pumps before a hurricane occurs can help you avoid malfunction or engine over-stress. Experts also recommend maximum shocking your pool with chlorine or bromine before a hurricane or tropical storm occurs to ultra-sanitize the water.
4. Move and tie down loose items
This seems like an obvious part of planning ahead for a storm, but when it comes to pools and hot tubs, the list can be endless. Chairs, tables, decorations, pool cleaning tools and even skimmer lids all need to be secured from a storm. Pool experts recommend removing or tightening skimmer caps just before a hurricane.
Next, check the fence or enclosure for loose posts and make repairs. If you have any signs or decorations around the pool, remove them because of the high winds. You become a flying object that could hit your house.
It is better to place all garden furniture in the house. Only as a last resort should you place pool furniture or cleaning supplies in the pool. Anything left in the pool can damage the pool liner if it gets thrown around during the storm.
The 2022 hurricane season begins in September:Late September Hurricane Forecast: Long-range threat is taking shape in Gulf Coast, Florida | WeatherTiger
5. Turn off power to pool equipment
Circuit breakers at the main switchboard must be completely turned off to prevent operation during a hurricane. Pool experts say you can keep the pumps and filters running while the weather is calm. However, once high winds, lightning, and rain arrive, turn off the breaker on the main panel and leave it off until the storm passes.
6. Wrap and protect gear
This is where your packaging know-how pays off. The pump motor, timer, light transformers and heater all need to be wrapped in waterproof plastic and sealed from a hurricane. If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s best to unplug the devices and move them to a dry location.
It’s also worth tidying up the area around the equipment pad. Keeping the pad clean allows water to drain freely from this expensive gear once the gale force gusts and torrential rain hit.
7. Check and protect your pool screen cover
This may be the easiest step of all. Damage to the display case can be avoided by installing a “vent” in the display to let the wind flow through. Experts say you can also remove panels on opposite sides to give the wind a place to flow.
Experts say following these steps can help prevent damage to your pool, hot tub, and even your home when a hurricane hits.