When a big storm rolls through the area, do you have a plan to keep up with swimming pool maintenance? It’s nice to have the convenience of a private pool, but this feature in the yard requires a bit more care and attention, especially when dealing with different weather conditions.
Texas residents know how to deal with the gulf coast storms that happen. If you know that a mid-size or large storm is on the way, then be ready to care for your pool with the proper maintenance techniques.
How Gulf Storms Affect Residential Swimming Pools
There is a risk of tropical storms and hurricanes coming from the Gulf of Mexico in the Gulf Coast region. Other common weather issues can come from the north in the form of freezing winter temperatures or tornadoes in the summer.
If you don’t know much about swimming pool maintenance, it might seem like a little extra water won’t hurt your pool. But it’s essential to understand the optimal pH balance and how significant small changes can have on the quality of your pool.
In fact, these minor weather conditions can affect the current quality of your swimming pool water. Over time, if you don’t keep up with maintenance, it eventually leads to serious damage and expensive repairs.
The best solution is to maintain a proactive schedule for keeping up with swimming pool maintenance. Keep up with these ongoing tasks. Then you can have the confidence in knowing that your swimming pool is always in excellent condition – regardless of the storms that are rolling through.
Swimming Pool Problems from Inclement Weather
Even though the swimming pool water looks clear after a rain or flood, it doesn’t mean that you have the proper pH balance in the water. It’s essential that you are proactive about testing the water levels and bringing everything back to balance as soon as possible. If the water alkalinity changes, then it can damage pool equipment and the surface of your swimming pool.
Rainwater is acidic, which means that adding rainwater to the pool lowers the pH balance of the pool water. Typically, this makes the water look clear. But it also starts to deteriorate the materials. Low pH can also cause expensive repair work. For example, sometimes, the alkalinity issues cause the copper heat exchanger to go out, which could land you a bill for several thousand dollars to fix the heater.
After a storm, not only are you dealing with the alkalinity changes from the rainwater, but the water also brings in debris due to the runoff that comes from the roof, patio, and landscaping nearby. These contaminants can introduce bacteria and other unwanted compounds into your swimming pool.
Swimming Pool Maintenance After a Big Storm
Here are a few tips to follow after a big storm:
- Test Your Pool Water: Heavy rains typically affect the chemistry levels of the water. You can expect that the alkalinity levels will drop. So, make sure to have water testing supplies on hand. It’s a good idea to have chlorine, alkalinity, muriatic acid, and shock on hand to test and rebalance the water. You can test the water immediately after the rain stops.
- Clear the Debris: Can you see debris floating in the water because of runoff? Remove the debris using a pool vacuum or skimmer. These unwanted items can break down in the water and cause issues. So, it’s wise to remove the debris as soon as possible.
- Clean the Baskets: You can expect a lot of buildup in the filters and baskets. Clean these parts of the pool system as soon as possible. The longer debris sits in the baskets or the pool water, the higher the risk of having water chemistry issues or stains.
- Watch the Water Levels: Be careful to avoid letting the water levels get too high or too low. You don’t want the pool to overflow. Watch the “backwash” or “waste” line to see if you need to drain off water. At the same time, don’t drain so much water that the water levels drop below the skimmer openings. If these openings are exposed to air, then it could burn up the motor.
Preparing a Swimming Pool Before the Storm
You need to consider two steps to protect your swimming pool during storm season: pre-storm preparations and post-storm cleanup. If you want to reduce the work after the storm, you need to be proactive about preparing before the storm.
Here are a few preparation tips to consider before various types of storms:
- Before a Hard Freeze: If there is a hard freeze warning in the area, you need to protect the pipes from bursting. Usually, freezing isn’t a bit of concern in Texas. But homeowners have dealt with these issues in recent years. The best solution is to leave the pump running when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the main circulation pump running, as well as secondary water feature pumps. It’s unnecessary to run the water heater, but it never hurts to increase the temperature a bit. You also might consider wrapping smaller pipes in foam or blankets.
- Before a Tropical Storm: Give your swimming pool a shock treatment 24 – 48 hours before the storm hits. Increase the chlorine levels and run the pool for about a day, so the shock treatment works its way through the pool. Right before the storm hits, you’ll want to turn off the pool breaker to prevent damage to electronics and motors. Also, remove your pool cleaner and store it in a shed or the garage.
- Always Use a Pool Cover: Regardless of the type of storm that is in the forecast, it’s smart to invest in a good cover for your swimming pool. This cover minimizes the amount of rainwater that collects in the pool. Additionally, it keeps out debris. Covering the pool is essential to minimize the work you’ll have to do after the storm is over.
Do You Need Help with Your Swimming Pool Maintenance?
It can be a lot to keep up with swimming pool maintenance throughout the year. Instead of worrying about the ongoing details to protect your swimming pool, hire our team to help. We offer full-service solutions for swimming pools, including installation, repairs, and maintenance. For more information, call our pro team at Mid City Custom Pools.