Right now residents along the gulf coast of Texas are preparing for Hurricane Harvey to make landfall. So, we thought it would be good to go over some tips on how to prepare Tampa swimming pools for the next hurricane.
1) Secure fixed equipment. For equipment that is bolted down, make sure all the bolts are tight and everything is secure. This includes things like the pool pump, filter, ladder, diving board, slide and/or heating unit.
2) Bring inside anything that's not bolted down. Anything that is not secure can become a dangerous projectile during a hurricane. Poles, brushes, pool vacuums, chemicals, chairs, tables, toys, basketball hoops, free-standing grills, etc should be brought inside. Even a sturdy outdoor cabinet can get blown over in 75+ mile per hour winds, so bring that in too.
3) Clean the french drain. Most in-ground pools have a french drain built into the deck between the pool and the house, which allows water to flow out to the sides of the pool deck rather towards the house. Hurricanes can dump a lot of rain very quickly on your pool and deck. If your french drain has leaves and dirt in it, water won't be able to drain quickly and you could end up flooding your deck area possibly even leaking into your house.
4) Clean gutters and downspouts. As long as you're cleaning out the french drain in the deck, you might as well clean the gutters along the edge of your roof and the downspouts. If they are clogged with leaves, sticks, balls or toys (yes, I've seen it), water will overflow and pour onto your pool deck forcing your french drain to handle even more water. This extra water could be more than your french drain can handle, and could cause water to flood into your home.
5) Trim trees. Pruning trees around your pool, will reduce the chances of branches breaking off and being blown through the screen. It will also reduce the number of branches and leaves that end up in your gutters potentially clogging them.
6) Add chlorine. Rain from the hurricane will dilute the chlorine in your pool. You could also end up with a lot of leaves and other debris in your pool. If you use liquid chlorine, pour an extra jug into the pool. If you have a salt chlorine system, increase the chlorine level the day before (since you won't be able to do it after #7...)
7) Turn off the power. Turn off the power for all electrical equipment at the circuit breaker. This can help to limit short circuits and damage to electrical equipment if lightning strikes your house, covers blow off control panels or debris strikes the equipment.
No matter what else you do, don't drain the water out of your pool! Heavy rain saturates the ground around an in-ground swimming pool. If you empty the water out of your pool, there's a good chance the ground water will pop the pool right out of the ground.
By taking these steps, you can greatly reduce the chances of damage to your swimming pool and home during a hurricane.
If you have any questions about your pool, or if you're interested in remodeling your pool or building a new pool in the Tampa, Florida area, contact us Grand Vista Pools.