As we know all too well, Florida is a state that frequently faces the wrath of hurricanes, and the aftermath can be daunting. When hurricanes strike, the focus is primarily on ensuring the safety of people, securing property, and managing power outages.
For pool owners, one common misconception is that draining your pool is the best course of action before or even after a hurricane. However, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, draining your pool after a hurricane can lead to various problems and should be avoided. Here’s why:
- Water Table Levels: Florida has a high-water table, which is the level at which the ground becomes saturated with water. In most areas, this is typically just a few feet below the surface. When you drain your pool, you risk the water in the ground pushing up against an empty pool, which can result in it popping out of the ground – a costly and avoidable problem.
- Structural Damage: Draining your pool can also lead to structural damage. An empty pool is vulnerable to the immense pressure from the wet ground, which can cause cracks and other forms of structural damage. These repairs can be expensive and time-consuming, and they are usually unnecessary if you leave your pool full.
- Liner Damage: In addition to structural damage, an empty pool can damage the liner. Liners are designed to be supported by the pressure of the water against them. When the water is removed, the liner can wrinkle, shrink, or even tear. Replacing a pool liner is a costly repair that you can easily avoid by keeping your pool full of the right amount of water.
- Costly Refilling: Draining your pool may seem like a quick fix, but refilling it is neither quick nor cost-effective. Depending on the size of your pool, it can take a significant amount of time and water to refill it. Even during hurricane season, the water loss from evaporation can be substantial, leading to increased water bills and potentially water restrictions. This cost and hassle are entirely avoidable by retaining the water during and after a hurricane.
- Environmental Impact: Florida’s ecosystem is highly sensitive, and draining your pool after a hurricane can have an adverse impact on the environment. The water you remove may end up in local waterways, affecting the delicate balance of local ecosystems. Florida’s wildlife, including aquatic animals, relies on the stability of these ecosystems. Keeping your pool full is a small but responsible contribution to protecting the local environment. Improperly draining your pool could also lead to state or local fines.
- Safety Concerns: Drained pools can be safety hazards. An empty pool is an enticing danger for children and pets, presenting the risk of accidents. If your pool is typically secured, leaving it full makes it a safer environment during hurricane recovery.
- Pool Equipment: Draining your pool can have consequences for your pool equipment. Many pool systems are not designed to function correctly without water in the pool. Running equipment without water can damage pumps and filters, potentially leading to costly repairs or replacements.
So, what should you do to safeguard your pool during and after a hurricane in Florida? We recommend the following:
Keep the Water Level Consistent: While it could be essential to reduce water levels to allow for rain runoff, you should never completely drain your pool. Typically, lowering the water level by 12 to 18 inches is sufficient. If you aren’t sure how much to lower your pool water level, give us a call.
Secure Pool Furniture and Equipment: Remove or secure any loose items, such as pool furniture or equipment, that could become projectiles during a hurricane. If you have a place to store these items inside, that’s the safest place.
Turn Off Electrical Equipment: Power down your pool equipment to prevent damage during power surges or fluctuations. This also ensures the equipment is not running when the pool water level is low.
Post-Hurricane Inspection: After the hurricane has passed and it’s safe to do so, inspect your pool for any debris or damage. Ensure that your pool equipment is functioning correctly. We would also be happy to conduct a post-storm assessment.
Consult a Professional: If you’re unsure about how to prepare your pool for a hurricane or how to assess potential damage afterward, it’s a good idea to give us a call. We can provide guidance and assistance in safeguarding and maintaining your pool.
Draining your Florida pool after a hurricane is a costly mistake that can lead to structural damage, liner issues, environmental harm, safety hazards, and unnecessary expenses. By keeping your pool full and following recommended precautions, you can protect your pool and the surrounding environment, while also ensuring a safer and more cost-effective recovery process.
More about Swim ‘N Fun
While you can do a lot on your own to keep your pool looking good and ready for you whenever you want, sometimes you might need professional help. In fact, we recommend you have your pool serviced at least once a year just to make sure everything is as it should be. Plus, we are really good at checking your equipment such as filters, pumps, and heating systems for major and minor issues.
Swim ‘N Fun offers weekly pool maintenance. Our trained pool technicians service the pool by testing the pool water, balancing the water chemistry, skimming the pool, brushing the pool walls, emptying the baskets, vacuuming the pool as needed, cleaning or backwashing the pool filter as needed, and checking the equipment to ensure that it is running properly. Routine pool maintenance helps a pool owner to save money and time. A properly balanced pool will also help keep swimmers safe and healthy.
Swim ‘N Fun is fully licensed and insured and has been serving Central Florida since 1986. Our pool company is ready to help you with any pool repairs that you may need such as repairing a broken pool pump, pool filter, pool vacuum, pool filtration system or pool lights. Our pool technicians will arrive at your home in our fully stocked service trucks. They will evaluate the problem and then make the repair. Many times, an extensive or expensive pool repair is not needed. No job is too big or too small!
We service all major brands. Let us help you with your pool repairs. Please give us a call at 407-699-5588.