Rain, Rain, Go Away

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gunite pool pop outHow to prepare your pool for floods or heavy rains

We all know what’s coming…spring. And with spring comes heavy rains. Unfortunately heavy rains can lead to flooding; this can cause damage to your property or pool. Let’s look at some things you can do to help prevent damage from heavy rains and what to do after the rainfall.

Pre-Rain:

To some it may seem very logical to partially empty your pool if you know heavy rains are coming your way. However, this may cause more damage than good.

The pool shell acts as a kind of boat when empty of water. It will float if the ground around it is saturated and the water pressure in the ground pushing up is greater than the pressure holding the pool in place.

If a pool floats, it may shift, crack and buckle.

To put it plainly, your pool could act like a boat if you empty it, and could literally ‘pop’ out of the ground a bit. This could cause the lining to crack from built up pressure from the ground water around it.

Luckily this usually isn’t a huge concern. Most pools are built with a hydrostatic relief valve in the floor of the pool which lets ground water enter the pool, keeping the balance and relieving the build up of pressure. This system is not completely fool proof- it could be faulty or not be strong enough to cope with the amount of pressure caused by significant ground water.

If you are insistent on draining some of the pool water, try to drain only a small portion of water out of the pool. Do not exceed two feet.

Other precautionary measures you can take before the rains come is to empty your pool and the surrounding area of all items: i.e. flotation devices, toys, and loose pool furniture. It is also a good idea to turn off all pool equipment.

Post-Rain:

If your area recently experienced heavy rain or flooding you may want to empty your pool to rid the rain water and clean it up a bit. While this sounds like a good idea, it might actually be a bad one.

Flooded swimming pools present a unique set issues to be aware of. The sooner the pool is returned to functional status, the better. Do this while understanding what each step will take and have a plan in place with the advice of a pool professional before you just jump in to do it (or drain it) yourself.

If you feel as though you absolutely must empty your pool, it is advisable to check with an expert prior to emptying.

Flooding or heavy rainfall can also permanently damage filtration equipment, especially pumps and heaters, get those checked before turning them on.

Other steps you can take after the floodwater clears out:

  • Balance pH
  • Running the filter until the water is sparkling again
  • Cleaning out all debris-to prevent staining
  • Shock or super chlorinate the pool water
  • Keep anyone from swimming until the pool water has returned to its original state