How To Prepare Your Pool For A Hurricane

Hurricane Symbol

Do you know how to prepare your pool for a hurricane? Get prepared now so you know what to do when one is approaching us. Aegean Pools hopes this article answers some of your questions.

First and foremost, your personal safety should be your biggest concern. The pool can be repaired and even replaced, you can’t! Protect yourself first!

Rain is one of the biggest by-products of a hurricane.  During a hurricane the ground can become very saturated.  If you have a vinyl-lined pool the liner may float or appear as though air is under the liner after a large amount of rain. This occurs because the ground is so saturated that the water has nowhere to go. Think of a sponge, it can only hold so much water. If the water pressure in the ground is greater than that in the pool, this can cause your liner to float. Keeping the water at the highest level (no higher than the top of the skimmer.) can help keep the liner from floating. However, in extreme weather situations it’s usually futile.  If water gets over the top of the skimmer it may go behind the liner and cause the liner to float and or bulge away from the wall of the pool.  We recommend if the forecasters predict high levels of precipitation that you drain the pool to the bottom of the mouth of the skimmer at the last possible moment.  To keep the water at the bottom of the skimmer during the storm use an automatic submersible pump (with a flat bottom.).  Place this pump on the top step and leave on.  When a floating liner recedes it may leave wrinkles behind.  If the wrinkles are not bad, and depending on the condition of the liner, the wrinkles may be worked out.  Time is of the essence and wrinkles should be removed as soon as possible so call our service department after the storm to schedule any necessary repairs.

Too much ground water can cause a concrete or fiberglass pool to “float” out of the ground.  Most concrete and fiberglass pools are installed with a hydrostatic relief valve in the main drain.  This valve is designed to open if the water pressure under the pool is greater than the pressure in the pool thus keeping the pool in the ground.  In excessive ground water situations even the hydrostat may not be enough.

If at all possible, try to keep the water level pumped down to the proper level in a vinyl liner pool. In a concrete or fiberglass pool the more water the better. So don’t drain any water – some storms don’t actually produce rain and it could be a waste of chemicals.

Here are some other good tips:

First and foremost, your personal safety should be your biggest concern. The pool can be repaired and even replaced, you can’t!  Protect yourself first!

ALL POOLS

  1. When the storm is raging and it is not safe to go out the water level in the pool is not as critical as your safety. Only go outside when it is safe to do so.
  1. DO NOT put your patio furniture in the pool during a hurricane! You can damage your pool, the liner, and your furniture.
  1. Store pool accessories and patio furniture in the shed, garage, or pool house.
  1. Once the hurricane has passed and you have power, shock the pool, let the pool circulate overnight, then bring us a sample, especially if you haven’t winterized. Remember water chemistry is important to protect the water from developing algae and the liner from chemical damage.
  1. If you don’t have power manually clean the debris from the pool and add a nonmetallic algaecide to the pool water like Algaecide 60 available at Aegean Pools.
  1. DO NOT cover your above ground pool. The cover will be destroyed in high winds.
  1. You may cover an in-ground pool if you have a mesh safety cover. Keep in mind that it may scratch aluminum coping around the pool, as high winds will cause the cover to flap.  If you have a solid safety cover and you lose power and the pump cannot pump water off the top of the cover you may incur some damage to the pool cover it would be best not to cover the pool if you have this type of cover.  If you have an automatic pool cover DO NOT cover the pool, if the power goes off and you cannot pump water off the cover you may incur some damage to this very expensive cover.
  1. DO NOT cover your inground pool with a water bag cover. It will either be destroyed in the high winds or blow away.
  1. DO NOT use an inflatable dome or any dome enclosures over the pool.
  1. If you are leaving the house turn the pool equipment off at the circuit breaker.
  1. Understand that in severe weather circumstances are beyond anyone’s control. Events will happen and you just have to let them happen and deal with the circumstances after the event has passed and it is safe to go outside.

 

IN GROUND VINYL LINER POOLS 

  1. If you have an in ground vinyl liner pool, keep the water at the normal level, half way up the mouth of the skimmer (no higher than the top of the skimmer). If water gets over the top of the liner it may go behind the liner and cause water to become trapped between the wall and the liner and cause the liner to float off wall of the pool.
  1. We recommend, regardless of what the forecasters predict for precipitation, you not drain the pool at all, but instead attempt to maintain the water level no higher than the top of the skimmer if at all possible. Again your safety is more important than the pool, the pool can be fixed.
  1. Best way to keep the water level down during the storm is to use an automatic submersible pump (with a flat bottom), place this pump on the top step and leave it on and connect a garden hose to it directing it as far away from the pool as possible. Be sure to secure the pump so that it cannot be blown, or knocked off the top step. Should the pump fall off the top step you will drain the pool potentially cause damage to the pool structure. If you have a handrail on the steps tie the pump securely to the handrail.  If you don’t have an automatic submersible pump they are available at Aegean Pools retail store.
  1. If your liner does float keep an eye on it as the water recedes you may notice wrinkles beginning to form. Before the liner settles completely on the bottom of the pool take your pool brush and carefully push the liner away from where the wrinkles are forming.   If wrinkles form anyway call Aegean Pools for further assistance.

 

FIBERGLASS POOLS

  1. It is best to keep a fiberglass pool from overflowing, however, be careful when draining the pool to not accidentally pump too much water out of the fiberglass pool as this may cause the pool to “float” out of the ground damaging the pool, pool plumbing, and pool deck.
  1. To avoid the problem of over draining the pool DO NOT place an automatic submersible pump in the pool, place the automatic pump in the skimmer connect it to a garden hose and direct the water as far away from the pool as possible. These pumps are available at Aegean Pools.

 

CONCRETE POOLS 

  1. Concrete pools, if the pool is constructed properly there is a hydrostatic relief valve in the main drain of the pool. This valve is designed to keep the pool from floating out of the ground.  It is not necessary to keep the pool drained; if the pool overflows it will not be an issue.  It is always best to consult with the company that built your pool to get their recommendations about what to do in the event of a hurricane.

If you have questions beyond these tips call the experts at Aegean Pools.

 

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