Published August 24, 2012
Storm season is here. I know that we are well into the official "Storm Season", but August and September always seem to be the months where the reality of a weather event comes to fruition. You should prepare your home well in advance of the start of the season and your pool area is no exception.
Here are a few tips to get you started: Be sure to revisit your home owner’s insurance policy. Take a look at the trees that you take for granted and follow the guidelines listed below from FEMA. http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes Remember: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. And most importantly, things can always be replaced; keeping your family, pets and yourself safe is your first priority.
The following checklist on how to prepare your pool and patio for the storm is an excellent resource created by Lisa Harlett Taylor at About.com.
If a storm is approaching, the last thing you want to worry about is what to do about your swimming pool or spa. Post this checklist on your refrigerator so you'll know what to do to secure your pool or spa in the anxious hours before a storm hits or prior to evacuation.
Many pool owners believe that draining their swimming pools or spas before a storm hits will keep it from overflowing and flooding their property. Wrong. Properly built or installed pools should be equipped with overflows that will drain excess water. If you want to slightly empty the water level, lower it no more than 1-2 feet. Otherwise, the hydrostatic pressure can be too strong, possibly causing the pool to "float" or "pop" out of the ground, according to the Official Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide. The water in your pool serves as a kind of shield, protecting your pool's finish from the effects of flying debris.
If you have time, remove all loose items from the pool area, including filter house tops, deck lid of filter, etc.
Besides saving your patio furnishings, outdoor toys, potted plants, pool cleaning equipment and gardening equipment, you'll want to bring these items inside to prevent them from damaging your house or other parts of your property if they get battered about by strong winds and heavy rain. For heavier outdoor objects that can't easily be brought inside, anchor them to something solid with rope, bungee cord, chains, etc.
Ideally, you should prune dying and weak branches of trees and shrubs throughout the year as part of your regular yard maintenance. If you have a gardener, make sure this is part of his / her maintenance routine.
Once you've received clearance to return home and have taken care of other more critical and emotional assessments of damage, you can address the pool or spa. You'll want to:
Inspect your pool pump and motor for any damage. Let the motor dry for at least 24 hours. If you couldn't remove your equipment before the storm and it was underwater, get it checked out. When electricity has returned, call a licensed, insured pool repair company to thoroughly inspect your pool and equipment.
If addressed soon, your uprooted trees can be revived. Here's how:
Again, remember that your family and your pets are your first priority. If you are unsure of any possible damage that your pool may have sustained during or following a storm, it is always best to check with a pool professional.
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