Hurricane season is upon us again, and so far it looks like it is going to be an active one. If you have a swimming pool in Florida, you have an extra concern when preparing for those big storms. Especially if you are a new pool owner, you may not be sure what the best practices are for keeping your pool safe and intact through the high wind and driving rain. Here are some tips for maintaining your pool during a hurricane.

Pre-Storm Preparation

The first rule you need to remember is that you should never empty your pool to prepare for a storm. You don’t even need to reduce the water level, if your pool has proper drainage and skimming set up.

Emptying your pool will only make it more vulnerable to damage from the storm. In fact, an empty pool could even be removed from its foundation and possibly blow away during the storm.

There are several things that you should do, however.

  • Put extra chlorine in the pool; shocking the water will enable it to resist chemical changes when the storm hits.
  • Turn off any appliances or electrical systems like your pump, and do this at the circuit breakers. Cut all power and protect the pumps with tightly-tied tarps or plastic wrap. If you can, disconnect and remove the pump altogether.
  • Vent your decking and screens to allow the wind to blow through. This will help to minimize damage from the storm. If you can, remove doors.
  • Remove loose furniture, pool equipment and toys. These can become missiles in hurricane winds. If you can, place them indoors. If not, gently place them into the pool, though this is a last resort as the pool chemicals may damage furniture, and furniture may damage the pool lining.
  • Remove chemicals to a safe location which is dry and high enough to avoid flooding.
  • Bolt down any equipment covers to avoid them blowing away.

After the Storm

After the storm is passed, take inventory of your equipment, furniture, and the pool itself to be sure that you haven’t lost anything, and there is no major damage to repair before reactivating your pool. A pool rake, net, or skimming device can be used to remove debris from the pool.

Avoid using your regular pump and vacuum as these can get clogged and damage. Take care when removing large objects so you don’t damage the pool’s lining.

Double-check that any electrical equipment is dry and undamaged before turning the power back on. Check the wiring, motors, and other elements to be sure they are still in good condition. If you are not certain how to do this, call a qualified professional to have them inspected.