Tips To Keep You Relaxed During Hurricane Season

Pool Scouts beach ball floating in a pool

Tips To Keep You Relaxed During Hurricane Season

Every fall in conjunction with the falling leaves comes hurricane season and it can be stressful. In Virginia Beach (where the Pool Scouts headquarters is located) we shut down schools in anticipation of an impending storm that never hit, literally, not one drop of rain! But the threat is real and there is more you can do, beyond mixing up a Hurricane Cocktail, to sleep with ease this time of year. And while we would rather talk about the ingredients of the season’s namesake cocktail (rum, lemon juice and passion fruit syrup in case you were wondering) we are tackling more important topics that involve hurricanes and our swimming pools. You’ve invested in your home and a great outdoor space to entertain so how do you protect it from natural disasters?

Five Key Things To Do Before The Storm

  1. Pool pump next to houseDo not drain the pool. Hydrostatic pressure under your pool can cause havoc during a storm.  It is best to allow the pool to overflow as opposed to potentially allowing the pool to pop.  If the pool is plumbed with an auto-drain, ensure it is not clogged.  Also if the pool has an auto-fill or water leveler,  please turn that off pre-storm.
  2. Add super chlorinate. Add extra shock to help the pool fight any pollutants that might contaminate the water. Remember to not swim for 24 hours after the shock treatment.
  3. Secure loose items around the pool area. These can become projectiles during the wind portion of any storm and cause further damage to the pool surface or surrounding area.  Strap down any items too large for storage. Also remember to store any chemicals used in your pool care safely, high and dry.
  4. Turn the power off. Be sure to turn off power at the electrical panel leading to pool equipment and lighting. No need to risk the mix of water and electricity during the storm. The equipment is more likely to fail if operating in saturated conditions and potential surges in the power grid could cause damage that would be costly.
  5. Document with pictures and video the pre-storm swimming pool and equipment area. This will help with any potential insurance claims.  You will also now have a game plan to follow for future storm preparedness.

Preparing Beyond the Pool Area

Besides the care of your swimming pool, there are other safety measures to consider during the event of a hurricane or other tropical storm. The following resources will help keep you, your family, and your home safe ahead of the storm.
  • The National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service has helpful tips for ensuring preparedness for a hurricane’s arrival.
  • The American Red Cross has great information on disaster alerts and preparation.
  • Ready.gov has information on hurricane preparation, as well as information on preparing for other natural disasters.
  • The National Weather Service is one of the best resources to get up-to-date information on hurricanes that are headed your way and those which are still forming.

Post Storm Assessment and Clean Up

Pool technician cleaning a poolAfter the storm has passed and your property is safe to access, follow these steps assess damage and begin to clean up:

Remove all debris from the house, patio, and swimming pool. Be sure to dispose with the local standards.  Often there could be delays in trash removal from the property. Plan ahead for weeks of disposal.

Inspect the pool surface, patio, plumbing, and equipment.  Any cracks should be inspected before operating equipment. Try to reach out to your pool technician for any repairs needed. Remember these techs generally are your neighbors and are experiencing the same potential hardships you are.

Test water chemistry and plan on testing frequently over the next few weeks. Adjust the chemistry after step 4.  If unable to run equipment, at least treat the water with liquid chlorine “bleach” or chlorine tablets in a floater. This will help keep the water from becoming stagnant and infested with bugs. Run filter equipment and keep filter clean as it will most likely capture debris quickly. Watch and listen to your equipment to ensure all components have returned to their normal operation.

Along with some of these basic tips, be sure to reach out to your local Pool Scouts or other pool service provider, so they can help get your pool back on track. Pool Scouts can assess any damage, remove debris and get your pool swim ready in no time! Click here to find a location near you.

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Turn Your Pool Into A Destination

Woman relaxing in a tranquil swimming pool

Have you ever seen those shows on the DIY Network or the Discovery Channel where they build these big, beautiful pools with grottos and lazy rivers? Yeah, me too. As a Do It Yourself enthusiast, I have come to realize that you don’t have to demo your pool and start over to achieve a pool destination. There are small things you can do to make your pool the ideal place to hang! Being in the pool industry, the list of possibilities could be quite lengthy, so I’ve put together a quick list of easy things you can do to improve your pool’s ambience. Read on for pool destination tips and tricks!

Green plant in vase next to swimming pool#1 It’s All About the Green (and pink and blue and purple)

This is one of the more important aspects of making your backyard and pool area a resort-like destination is to plant lots of foliage and flowers. Using nature to enhance the space only makes sense. Scout tip: leveraging potted plants and flowers can really help create that feeling of a tropical getaway!

#2 It’s Game Time

There’s nothing better than taking the pick-up game to the pool! Be sure to have lots of pool games available to keep everyone having fun in the water. Basketball hoops and volleyball nets vary in cost but really give pool-goers that competitive spark. Browse the options below to add a game time element into your pool space:

#3 Making It in the Shade

Be sure to offer your guests enjoying your newly designed pool oasis a reprieve from the sun. This can be a simple umbrella set up next to the pool or a portable shade sail that can be moved with the setting sun. Shade really creates some ambience and helps to make your backyard feel like a resort. But we warn you. By the time you add some festive seating with pillows underneath the shade, you’ll have to start kicking your neighbors out!

#4 Ahh, the Relaxing Sounds of Running Water

Fountain in pool with dog in backgroundNot only does the sound of moving water help to relax the mind, it helps keep your pool water cool and clear. Running water features at night help to reduce temperatures and keep the water moving. This creates a better experience for folks trying to cool off in the pool.

There are some easy and cost-effective options on the market, and some even have built in lighting! Here are a few products to consider:

#5 Keeping It Clean

No one wants to swim in a dirty pool, but keeping the surrounding area clean has the same impact as a clear pool. Remember that pool show that dazzled us? The big reveal of the pool area is always perfectly staged and clean. It just wouldn’t look the same if there were a bunch of leaves and debris by the lounge chairs. And when you are watering your new plants, go ahead and spray down the deck and the pool surroundings while you’re at it!

Here are some quick and easy things you can do to keep your pool area clean:

  • Use a blower to clean the pool surrounding area
  • Empty simmer baskets
  • Skim the pool surface
  • Pick up pool toys and floats

Check out this easy, DIY pool storage unit. Scout tip: paint it a neutral color and tuck all those fun toys in one place:

BONUS: Don’t Forget About the Lighting!

Lighting your patio and your pool are important to continue that destination feel. Whether it is string lights, landscape lighting or floating pool lights, they all contribute to the vacation vibes! Check out these lighting options for after the sun goes down.

No matter what kind of pool destination vibe you are going for with your backyard aesthetic, Pool Scouts is here to help keep your pool water clear and your equipment running smoothly! Give us a call today to request a free quote or schedule your next pool maintenance service.

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