It’s been a rainy spring in Baltimore, and with summer storm season coming, many pool owners are curious how to prepare a pool for summer storms. Rainwater itself doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but flooding, wind, debris, and falling trees all pose risks to swimming pools. Here are four tips for storm-proofing your pool this summer.
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1. Don’t Drain It
Believe it or not, the water in your inground swimming pool actually protects the finish from damage caused by flying debris. Moreover, most pools have built-in overflows that drain excess water, preventing a flood from occurring in case of heavy rain. Although this should give you plenty of backup, you can slightly lower your water level by no more than two feet to be sure. Any more could increase hydrostatic pressure, causing your pool to actually dislocate from the ground costing thousands in pool repair.
2. Bring Outdoor Hazards Inside
They say the best cure is prevention, so save yourself some time and money in the post-storm cleanup process by limiting potential hazards. Before the storm, stow all outdoor furniture, grills, pool toys, and other loose items in a storage shed or inside the house. Heavier items should be fully covered and tied down whenever possible.
3. Turn Off the Power
After you’ve gathered up plenty of candles and flashlights for backup in case of an indoor power loss, be sure to protect the outdoor pool area from dangerous power losses as well. Luckily, Maryland ranks pretty low in total energy consumed per capita (256 Btu in 2010), but there’s always something more homeowners can be doing. Turn off the circuit breaker powering the pool heater and lighting, remove the motor, and disconnect propane tanks, electrical systems, and gas systems. Make sure to have a generator on hand in case of emergencies after the storm.
4. Trim Your Trees
Again, prevention is key to avoiding disaster. So if you’ve got some long-overdue pruning to do, right before a big storm is the perfect time to finally get it over with. Trim shrubs and small branches on your own, but make sure to contact the pros for more complicated limb removals.
This time last year, a destructive derecho caused $19 million in damage and massive power outages for the state of Maryland, and this year we can’t take any chances. You might not be able to control the weather, but these simple precautions to prepare your pool for summer storms can keep your pool and your home safe.
Check out our “Pool Maintenance” page for more tips on how to prepare a pool for summer.