When a hurricane is bearing down on your part of the country, it can be terrifying to consider the power of such a violent storm. Hurricanes bring with them threats to life, safety, and property. The catastrophic loss that comes along with hurricanes can force victims of the storm to start over in the aftermath after losing everything.
The best chance of weathering a powerful storm is preparation, and that applies to many aspects of your life, including your pool. Your pool can be dramatically impacted by a passing hurricane due to debris and heavy rains. While preparation can help you preserve the sanctity of your pool, it can only get you so far when your pool suffers the full wrath of a hurricane.
Swimming pool care in Duluth is critical immediately after a storm to prevent further damage and mitigate health risks caused by dirty floodwaters. Your pool will be filled with airborne debris from nearby vegetation and damaged construction materials. It will also be filled with rainwater and possible pollutants that will make it unusable for swimming. A lack of power can mean your pump won’t run, which means that mosquitos will immediately begin using your pool as a larval nursery. Fortunately, there are some key steps you can take after regaining access to your home to mitigate damage to your pool and begin to get it back in working order. Keep reading to learn what swimming pool cleaning tasks are required after a hurricane passes.
Checking the Electrical System
The first thing you should do to ensure safety when working on your pool is check the electrical system for damage caused by the storm. Electricity and water can result in a deadly equation, and while those two elements are usually isolated in your swimming pool, storms can cause damage that can result in shock hazards. Before you do anything else with your pool, make sure that you cut all power to the pool at the breaker box. You’ll also need to contact an electrician to inspect the electrical components of your pool system for damage that could lead to a shocking hazard. Don’t attempt to assess the situation yourself unless you are an electrician.
Draining the Pool
While there is some disagreement about how soon after the storm has passed that you should drain your pool, there is consensus about the need to remove polluted water and replace it with freshly treated water. If your pool’s pH was simply thrown out of balance due to heavy rains with little debris infiltration, you may be able to avoid draining your pool.
Some Category 1 or 2 hurricanes can drop a lot of rain without dropping much in the way of debris, so you can use your judgment about whether the water can be treated back into shape. However, severe hurricanes could deposit an array of contaminants in your pool including chemicals, pathogens, and sewage. In those cases, it would be impractical, if not impossible, to test and treat the existing water back into a usable state.
Draining it represents the best chance of getting your pool back in working order quickly. It will also give you a chance to inspect your pool for damage caused by sunken debris and to remove any debris that may have been blown into your pool. It may be wise to avoid draining your pool when the surrounding ground is saturated with water, however. The pressure of water-logged soil on the pool’s outside walls without the equalizing pressure of water inside the pool can lead to cracked structures or movement of the pool body.
Before you can run your pool’s filter or pump, you will need to clean out as much storm debris as possible. That doesn’t just apply to large items but small particulate as well. Use your skimmer and a manual vacuum to get as much detritus out of the pool as possible. Running your pump or automatic vacuum without removing debris can lead to costly clogs that can damage your system. Make sure that you take the proper precautions when removing debris, however. Storm waters can be fetid with pathogens, so wear gloves and use the proper equipment.
Hurricanes wreak havoc on communities every year, and your pool is not immune to damage from flying debris and floodwaters. If you’ve recently weathered a storm, use these tips to make sure your pool is back in operating order as soon as possible. To learn more tips for handling your pool after a hurricane, visit Sunrise Pool Services.