As tropical Storm Ian approaches and intensifies into a full-blown Hurricane, the Pool industry in Florida is bracing for its first serious storm of the year. Ian represents the ninth named storm of 2022 and is forecast to reach category 4 hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall in Florida and will be the first for the state since 2018.
Meteorologists began tracking Ian roughly 255 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica, Saturday evening moving west at 16 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Typically after a hurricane, pool industry professionals will experience a spike in calls for service and maintenance. This can mean everything from removing branches, debris, and sometimes even patio furniture from swimming pools. Since stormwater has a higher pH, chemical maintenance calls are also in high frequency after a hurricane. Damage to pool covers, patio enclosures, and fences also has a higher probability during a hurricane.
Consequently, pool service technicians throughout any area where a hurricane has made landfall may find that they are inundated with calls afterward, depending on the severity of the storm. Homeowners may find difficulty finding an available pool technician right after a hurricane and should make preparations before hand to mitigate potential damage to their pool and backyard.
Due to the high-force winds and potential for costly damage in the backyard, pool owners are advised to take precautions to secure their swimming pool area before the storm hits. The Florida Swimming Pool Association has some practical advice on how to secure your backyard during a hurricane.
Hurricane #Ian Advisory 14A: Ian Continues to Intensify. Conditions in Western Cuba to Deteriorate This Evening and Tonight With Significant Wind and Storm Surge Impacts Expected. https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 26, 2022
Preparing Your Backyard For a Hurricane
Look for dead or overhanging branches that could cause problems in high winds to your pool, patio enclosure, and home.
All things not securely fastened down should be moved in case of a storm. (This includes smaller items like toys and decorations)
Preparing Your Pool For a Hurricane
Don’t Lower The Water Level In Your Pool
The first question people ask is, “Will the pool overflow, do I need to reduce the water level in my pool?”
Since most swimming pools are built with adequate drainage, the answer is “no”. You don’t need to lower the water level in your pool before a hurricane. In fact, the weight of the water in the pool is what can keep it from popping from the ground when a heavy storm causes excessive groundwater.
Turn Off Pool Equipment
Pump motors, lights, chlorinators, and heaters should all have their main circuit breakers turned off. In the event that flooding is anticipated, the best advice may be to simply disconnect your equipment and store it in a dry place until the storm is over.
Adding a dose of “shock” to the pool before a storm is a smart idea. The addition of liquid or granular chlorine will help prevent contamination from the expected debris and excessive storm water that will get into the pool.
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