How to prep your pool for Storms

Prepping Your Swimming Pool for Storms

Living in Florida you become quite accustomed to flash showers, lightning, and hurricanes. Sometimes, storms may brew instantaneously and dissolve within a thirty minute span. Typical Florida weather for ya. There is very little you can do in those types of situations. Some storms though, like hurricanes, you can prepare for. And although you cannot predict how severe the weather will get, pool owners must be ready at all times to help protect their swimming pool from damages caused by storms, floods, and fires.

There is no way to completely keep debris out of your pool. Still, pool owners should be mindful of the necessary steps it takes to prevent as much damage as possible. Storms with high winds and strong rainfall can bring dirt and debris into your pool, while flooding can increase the amount of contaminants like mud, silt, and bacteria. To help prevent unnecessary damage, here’s a list of recommendations we compiled that should aid in protecting your swimming pool from Mother Nature.

Do NOT Remove the Water From Your Pool

Your first natural instinct might be to remove the water from your pool to prevent flooding and contamination. Please don’t. Removing all the water from your pool leaves your pool walls and floor unprotected. Large debris can cause scratches and dents to the pool walls. In some cases, your pool can literally “pop” out of the ground. The underground water tables rises during storms and floods and without water in your pool, the pool can rise on the water table. Keeping the contaminated water keeps your pool in place and makes it a little easier to clean up.

Turn Power OFF on Pool Equipment

Turn Power OFF
Turn Power OFF

It’s very likely that your pump, motor, filter,or control system may come in contact with large amounts of water during a storm. It is essential that you take the time to protect your equipment by cutting the power off. You want to turn off the circuit breakers to all pool equipment including: pump, motor, filter, chlorinator, heater, and lighting fixtures. This prevents any electrical issues that may occur from excessive water exposure.

Avoid chaos by removing all free-standing furniture and equipment.

Remove Yard and Pool Deck Furniture and Debris

Any type of free standing object is liable to be blown or carried away amidst a storm, potentially damaging your pool, car, or home. If you have time before a storm approaches, remove toys, furniture, and any other objects that may be dangerous during a storm.

If possible, trim potentially dangerous branches prior to the storm.
If possible, trim potentially dangerous branches prior to the storm.

Trim Branches From Surrounding Trees

You won’t have time to trim your branches before every storm however, if time does allow, we highly recommend you trim the trees in the areas surrounding your home and pool. Trimming and removing branches drastically reduces the chances of serious injuries and damages.

Check and Balance Water Chemistry

During a storm, it is inevitable that your pool water will become contaminated with dirt and debris. Balancing your pool water and adding an algae controller prior to a storm will save you a lot in damage control after the storm. Adding an algaecide, like the Algae Prevent 60, eliminates the majority of organic contaminants that blow into your pool. Any other contaminants remaining in your pool can be removed by shocking your pool once the storm subsides

Leave your swimming pool uncovered.

Do NOT Cover Your Pool

Again, although your first instinct may be to throw your winter cover or safety cover over your pool, we recommend that you do not. Putting on a cover may actually cause more damage. High winds can cause your cover to lift up off the ground, defeating its purpose altogether. Additionally, putting a cover on your pool leaves your cover vulnerable to sharp, flying objects. Balancing your pool water after the storm is a lot cheaper than replacing a whole pool cover. Not to mention, you won’t have to deal with trying to remove a cover full of water and debris.

After the Storm

Blog Image - Aqua Check Tester (200 x 200)
Balance and check your water chemistry.

After the storm has cleared and you’re ready to address your pool’s damage, the first thing you want to do is remove any debris from your pool. This helps decrease contamination and prevents the pool from staining. Next, check and balance your water chemistry. Balance water pH or shock your pool and then run your pool filter until the water becomes clear. Do not allow anyone to use the pool during this time

Although it may be tempting to drain your pool, again please do not. Be sure to check your pool equipment for any damages. Let your motor dry off for a 24 hour period before running. Once everything dries, check your electrical system and power on equipment. If in doubt, do not hesitate to call a licensed, insured pool repair company to come inspect your equipment.

If you have any questions about preparing your pool for a storm or if you need help recovering from an unexpected storm, give us a call and speak with one our technicians. We’re more than happy to get your pool back up and running again.

30 thoughts on “Prepping Your Swimming Pool for Storms

  1. Thanks for your tips on how to prepare your pool for a storm, Charlie. You make a great point about maintaining the trees and shrubs in your yard. I grew up in the Northwest, and we would get significant windstorms every year. There would be a significant amount of debris from trees and other vegetation. This could clog up your pool’s pump and make it need repairs. Thanks again for your suggestions.

  2. Hello! I recently want to provide a huge thumbs-up
    for the great info you have here on this article. I will be
    returning toyour website for more quickly.

  3. Last time there was a storm, I left the cover on. I figured that the rain would increase the pools levels and mess up the chemical balance. I went out after the storm and it was ripped due to a rock being blown into it. In the article it states that leaving the cover on is something that shouldn’t be done and I will agree with that. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for the great advice. With Hurricane Joaquin on my mind, I thought that I’d see how we can prepare our pool for storms. I was going to take the water out, so I’m glad that you said that’s a bad idea. Now that I think about it, I can see why we shouldn’t do it.

    1. Years ago, we lived in an area of Northern California that had a naturally high water table, due to annual large amounts of winter rain. Our neighbor made the mistake of lowering the water level, expecting the rain to fill it up, afterwards. Sadly, the entire (fiberglass) pool lifted out of the ground and floated 6 feet above where it had originally set. It was a very expensive proposition to have their pool “reset” in the yard, afterwards.

      Our own pool—still filled to full—remained in place. We were grateful for that.

  5. These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to leave the pool cover off in a storm. I thought it would be a good idea to keep out debris, but I was wrong! I’ll definitely be sure to leave the pool open during future storms. Thanks for the great post!

  6. Charlie, this is good information to have about prepping your pool for a storm. My husband and I are getting a pool in our yard soon and we want to know how to keep it looking nice. The tip about turning off the pump or motor seems like a good idea. We will have to keep that in mind!

  7. This is so interesting! I’m looking into building an in-ground swimming pool, but I’m doing research for now so I’m fully prepared. I didn’t know you should leave your water in the pool for storms, but your points make total sense. I’ll share this with my husband when he gets home, thank you 🙂

  8. I had no idea you had to prepare your swimming pool for an incoming storm. That makes sense because you don’t want anything in it to be damaged by the high winds or lightning. Next time there is a bigger storm coming my way I’ll be sure to turn off the power to the pool. That way if there is lighting it isn’t going to hit anything and fry it or short it out. Thanks for the awesome post.

  9. I just got a pool installed in my backyard, and I didn’t even think about storms. Where I live, the weather is totally unpredictable. So I need to make sure I am prepared for the worst. So I really appreciate you sharing this information with me on how I can prep my pool for a storm. I’ll definitely make sure I do this next time a storm rolls around.

  10. had a neighbor who had a pool POP out of the ground a few years ago. the insurance said they would pay for the deck/patio but not the pool. they now have a screened in garden

    1. …Insurance companies…

      I do not blame your neighbor for the transition, at least they may get some fresh tomatoes out of the deal. I’d love to see a picture of their backyard now.

      It may be too late for your neighbor but to prevent your pool from popping I suggest installing a hydrostatic relief valve. The valves will allow groundwater to fill the pool in cases of groundwater swell. The pool will fill with dirty groundwater, but even that is better than a popped pool.

  11. I don’t like when a storm comes, and my pool is completely trashed. I never thought about trimming the trees in the surrounding areas. I will need to give that a try. Thank you for the help!

  12. I didn’t really think about the storms that happen in the summer. You’d really have to pay attention to them and prepare beforehand. That way nothing from your pool gets damaged.

  13. My husband and I had a pool installed in our back yard last summer, and now that stormy season is coming, we have been nervous. Before reading this article, I probably would have done the opposite of all the tips here, so I am very glad I found this! It is very interesting to me that I shouldn’t cover my pool during a storm, but it makes sense how it is explained. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  14. Thanks for the great tips, especially your advice to leave the water in your pool. I just recently put a pool in my back yard, and I was wondering what to do during a storm. Like you said, my first thought was that flooding could occur, so I should drain the pool, but I was wrong. I will definitely leave the water in during the next

  15. I understand not to drain conpletelty, but what about letting out 25% water just to leave room for rainfall. Worried about flooding.

    1. Lisa, the most important factor regarding pool popping is your water table. If you are sustaining normal rainfall for your area and live in a temperate state, then dropping the water level 2-3 feet is normal. If you were in a tropical state like Florida, or you are experiencing sustained heavy rainfall that is likely to raise the water table then we suggest lowering the water one foot, then draining when needed. This small incremental draining method will keep your pool in the ground and your pool water level controlled.

  16. Thanks for the information on how to prepare my pool for a storm. I’ve never thought to turn the power off on my pool equipment. I’ll be sure to do that before the next storm!

  17. My first instinct to protect my pool from damage would be to drain all of the water out of it. I am surprised that you actually advise against this. It makes a lot of sense not to, though, because you talk about how doing this could cause scratches and dents to be caused to the pool walls. Additionally, it’s helpful to know that you shouldn’t cover the pool during the storm either. I will definitely be sure to take these precautions so that I prevent my pool from any large and expensive damage. Thank you for sharing!

  18. I never considered how a pool might be affected by a storm. It is interesting that you should leave the water rather than drain it all. Should it all be drained after the storm has passed so that you can clean the pool?

  19. It is definitely a good idea to know what you need to do to prepare your pool for big storms. I especially like your reminder to remove all the free standing objects from around your pool. Like you said, these items can cause damage to your pool, car, or home. I will be sure to follow your advice when it comes to preparing my pool for a storm. Hopefully, that way, any repairs I have to do won’t be extensive.

  20. That is interesting to realize that the water table rises enough during a storm that an empty pool could rise up and crack apart. I get the science behind it. However, I just thought it would be better to not have a pool of floating yard and tree debris. It makes sense that keeping the water in, will keep repair costs lower.

    1. Bryan, it is weird to think that if you drain your pool you may be one heavy storm away from your inground pool turning into an above ground pool, but it’s true. Also, in my experience cleaning a filled pool is easier than cleaning an empty pool, A little vacuuming or backwashing does the trick.

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