One of the things that you need to do after a hurricane is to conduct a thorough swimming pool cleaning. Unless your pool is indoors, it is most likely filled with dirt and debris after the onslaught of a strong hurricane.

A hurricane is a force of nature that brings a lot of destruction with it. You have the heavy rainfall and strong winds. If you live along the coast, you are also in danger of storm surges. There are also times when the hurricane can trigger a tornado to bring more destruction into your community. When it is strong enough, a hurricane can level an entire neighborhood.

Flooding is another effect of a hurricane. When the neighborhood is submerged underwater, your swimming pool will be a part of what is underneath. Even if the water already receded, you cannot expect your pool to just go back to normal. There are so many bad bacteria, dirt, and debris that came with that flooding. The strong winds of the hurricane caused a lot of branches and leaves to land on your pool.  You can also expect a mixture of salt water, sand, algae, and even phosphates and sewage in your pool. All of these is an indication that you need to go through some serious swimming pool cleaning before you can use it again.

Understanding the Impact of Hurricanes on Swimming Pools:

When a hurricane strikes, it brings with it a barrage of contaminants and debris that can find their way into your pool. From dirt, leaves, and branches to mud, silt, and even harmful germs, the list of potential pool pollutants is extensive. Understanding these risks is crucial for effective post-hurricane pool maintenance.

The primary culprits for pool contamination during a hurricane are wind, rain, and flooding. Wind can deposit leaves, branches, and other debris into your pool. Heavy rainfall can dilute pool chemicals and introduce bacteria and algae, while flooding can carry soil, mud, and contaminants into your pool water. All of these factors can turn your pristine pool into a murky, unsafe environment.

Initial Assessment and Safety Precautions:

Before diving into the cleanup process, prioritize safety. Start by checking all electrical equipment to ensure it’s safe to operate. Electrical hazards can be life-threatening, so never compromise on this step. If there is any doubt about the safety of your pool’s electrical systems, consult a professional electrician.

Next, assess the pool’s condition. Depending on the extent of the damage and contamination, you may need to decide whether draining the pool is necessary. If your pool is partially flooded and you’re uncertain about the water quality, it’s advisable to consult a pool maintenance expert or a water quality professional for guidance.

Cleaning Guidelines for Flooded Pools:

In cases where your pool has been completely flooded, draining it is often the safest course of action. This step is essential to avoid potential structural damage and contamination. When draining, take care to follow safe procedures to prevent further complications. Keep in mind that in-ground pools may be at risk of floating out of the ground if the water table is too high, so consult with a pool professional before draining.

Once the pool is drained, you can begin the cleaning process. Start by removing any remaining debris from the pool surface and bottom. Leaf skimmers, nets, and vacuums are valuable tools for this job. Neglecting this step can lead to further contamination and damage to your pool equipment.

After removing debris, pay attention to cleaning the pump strainer and skimmer baskets. These components play a crucial role in maintaining water circulation and filtration. Neglecting their maintenance can lead to system clogs, reduced water circulation, and poor water quality.

Chemical Treatment and Water Balance:

Proper chemical treatment is essential to restore your pool’s water quality. Superchlorinate your pool to eliminate contaminants and maintain appropriate pH levels. Regularly test and adjust the water chemistry to ensure it remains safe and inviting.

Superchlorination, also known as shock treatment, involves adding a large amount of chlorine to your pool to quickly kill bacteria and algae. This step is essential after a hurricane, as floodwaters can introduce harmful microorganisms into your pool. After superchlorination, monitor your pool’s pH levels. The ideal pH range for pool water is typically between 7.4 and 7.6. Use a reliable pH test kit to check and adjust the pH as needed.

Consider using clarifiers and algaecides as needed to keep the water crystal clear. Clarifiers help to bind small particles together, making them easier for the pool filter to remove. Algaecides, on the other hand, can prevent or eliminate algae growth, which is a common issue after a hurricane due to the introduction of organic matter into the pool.

Filter Cleaning and Maintenance:

Your pool’s filter plays a pivotal role in keeping the water clean. Clean and backwash the filter regularly, and know when it’s time to replace the filter media. During the cleaning process, emphasize the importance of frequent filter maintenance to maintain optimal filtration.

Pool filters come in different types, such as sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. The maintenance requirements vary for each type, so refer to your pool filter’s manufacturer instructions for specific guidance.

Sand filters typically require backwashing to remove trapped debris and contaminants. To backwash your sand filter, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the pool pump.
  2. Set the filter valve to the “backwash” position.
  3. Turn on the pool pump and let it run for 2-3 minutes or until the water in the sight glass runs clear.
  4. Turn off the pump and set the filter valve back to the “filter” position.
  5. Turn on the pump again.

For cartridge filters, periodically remove and clean the filter cartridges. Rinse them thoroughly with a hose and consider using a filter cleaner solution to remove stubborn debris. DE filters require periodic backwashing and the addition of fresh DE powder to the filter.

Regardless of the filter type, regular maintenance is essential to ensure proper filtration and water clarity.

Circulation and Filtration:

Keep the circulation and filtration systems running until the water clears up. Enzymatic water clarifiers can aid in this process by breaking down impurities and aiding filtration. Consistent circulation and filtration are key to achieving a sparkling clean pool.

During the post-hurricane cleanup phase, it’s important to maintain a healthy turnover rate for your pool water. The turnover rate is the amount of time it takes for the pool pump to circulate all the water in the pool through the filter. Typically, you should aim for a turnover rate of 8 to 10 hours. This means that the pool water should pass through the filter and return to the pool within that time frame.

Enzymatic water clarifiers are beneficial in this regard. They contain enzymes that break down organic matter and improve water clarity. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dosing the clarifier based on your pool size.

Additionally, ensure that your pool’s skimmer and pump baskets are cleaned regularly to prevent debris from clogging the circulation system. Proper skimming and filtration will help your pool water become crystal clear once again.

Post-Cleaning Tips and Ongoing Maintenance:

If hurricane season isn’t over yet, consider leaving the pool empty until the storms pass. This can prevent further damage and contamination. However, be cautious about leaving an empty pool, especially if you have an in-ground pool, as the absence of water can lead to structural issues if the groundwater table rises significantly. Consult a pool professional for guidance on this matter.

To avoid future issues, implement a regular maintenance routine. Skim the pool surface, vacuum regularly, and check chemical levels consistently to keep your pool in top condition. Regular maintenance helps prevent the buildup of debris and algae, ensuring that your pool remains inviting and safe.

Here are some ongoing maintenance tips to consider:

  1. Skim the Surface: Use a pool skimmer or net to remove leaves, bugs, and debris from the pool’s surface regularly. This prevents these materials from sinking to the bottom and causing further contamination.
  2. Vacuum the Pool: Depending on your pool type, use a manual vacuum or an automatic pool cleaner to remove debris from the pool floor. Vacuuming also helps maintain water clarity.
  3. Monitor Chemical Levels: Test your pool water regularly for pH, chlorine, alkalinity, and other chemical levels. Keeping these parameters within the recommended range is essential for water balance and swimmer safety.
  4. Clean Pool Tiles and Walls: Over time, calcium deposits and scale can accumulate on pool tiles and walls. Use a pool tile brush or a pumice stone to remove these deposits and keep your pool looking clean and attractive.
  5. Inspect Equipment: Periodically inspect your pool’s equipment, including pumps, filters, and heaters. Address any issues promptly to avoid costly repairs down the line.
  6. Maintain Water Level: Ensure that your pool’s water level is within the optimal range. Evaporation and splashing can cause water levels to drop, affecting circulation and filtration.
  7. Winterize Your Pool: If you live in an area with cold winters, properly winterize your pool to prevent freezing damage. This may involve draining some water, blowing out lines, and covering the pool.
  8. Seek Professional Help: If you ever encounter significant problems or are unsure about any aspect of pool maintenance, don’t hesitate to consult a professional pool service technician. Their expertise can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

In conclusion, cleaning your swimming pool after a hurricane is not just a matter of aesthetics; it’s essential for safety and enjoyment. Neglecting proper post-hurricane pool maintenance can lead to a host of problems, including waterborne illnesses and costly repairs. For severe pool damage or contamination, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. By following these comprehensive guidelines and maintaining a consistent pool care routine, you can ensure that your pool remains a source of fun and relaxation, even after the most severe of storms. Remember that a clean and well-maintained pool not only enhances your property but also provides a safe and enjoyable environment for family and friends.

Why Choose Gettle Pools for Your Pool Maintenance Needs in Sarasota County?

At Gettle Pools, we take pride in being your trusted partner for all your pool maintenance and care needs in Sarasota County. Our commitment to excellence, professionalism, and unparalleled service sets us apart as the premier choice for pool owners in the area. Here’s why you should make Gettle Pools your go-to pool maintenance company:

  1. Expertise and Experience: With years of experience in the industry, our team of certified pool technicians possesses the knowledge and expertise required to handle all aspects of pool maintenance. Whether it’s post-hurricane cleanup, routine maintenance, or complex repairs, we’ve got you covered.
  2. Customized Solutions: We understand that every pool is unique, and each customer has specific needs. That’s why we tailor our services to meet your pool’s individual requirements. Our customized solutions ensure that your pool remains in optimal condition year-round.
  3. Prompt and Reliable: We know that your time is valuable, and the last thing you want is to wait around for pool maintenance. At Gettle Pools, we are known for our punctuality and reliability. When you schedule a service with us, you can expect us to arrive on time and complete the job efficiently.
  4. Cutting-Edge Equipment: To deliver the best results, we invest in the latest pool maintenance equipment and technology. Our state-of-the-art tools enable us to clean, repair, and maintain your pool to the highest standards.
  5. Safety First: Your safety and the safety of your pool users are our top priorities. We take all necessary precautions to ensure that our pool maintenance services are performed safely and without any risk to you or your loved ones.
  6. Transparent Pricing: We believe in fair and transparent pricing. You’ll always know what to expect when it comes to the cost of our services. No hidden fees or surprises – just honest and upfront pricing.
  7. Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed: Our track record speaks for itself. We have a long list of satisfied customers who trust us with their pool maintenance needs year after year. Your satisfaction is our ultimate goal, and we won’t rest until you’re happy with the condition of your pool.
  8. Comprehensive Services: Whether you need post-hurricane cleanup, regular maintenance, pool equipment repairs, or water chemistry adjustments, Gettle Pools offers a comprehensive range of services to keep your pool in top shape.
  9. Local Knowledge: We’re proud to serve the Sarasota County community. Our local knowledge means that we understand the unique challenges that local pools face, from the effects of hurricanes to the specific water quality concerns of the region.
  10. Peace of Mind: Choosing Gettle Pools means choosing peace of mind. You can relax knowing that your pool is in capable hands, and you’ll be able to enjoy a clean, safe, and inviting pool whenever you desire.

When it comes to pool maintenance in Sarasota County, Gettle Pools is the name you can trust. Join our growing list of satisfied customers and experience the difference of working with a dedicated and professional pool maintenance company. Contact us today to schedule your pool service and discover why Gettle Pools is your go-to choice for all your pool care needs. Your pool deserves the best, and we’re here to provide it.