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Preparing Your Pool for a Storm

Storms can be amazing. They're fascinating to watch, can provide much-needed precipitation, and usually leave behind fresh, clean air. But they can also be destructive and result in quite a mess, especially when it comes to swimming pools. How do you prepare your pool for a storm?

Storms can cause your pool to be contaminated with debris such as dirt, mud, silt, and bacteria. Although there is no way to keep your pool debris-free when a storm rolls through, there are a few things a pool owner can do to protect their pool and equipment from damages, as well as potential bacteria and algae growth. We’ve put together a few guidelines to use to prepare next time the forecast calls for a storm.

Highlights include:

Water in swimming pool

Do not drain your pool water.

When preparing for a storm, do not cover the swimming pool

Leave your pool uncovered.

Leslie's Pool Water Chemistry

Balance your water and add algae controller.

Trim branches and limbs near the pool to prepare before a storm

Trim branches and limbs from nearby trees.

Power off pool equipment

Turn off the power to pool equipment.

Do Not Drain Your Pool Water

You might have the urge to remove the water from your pool as you prepare for a storm. You might do this to prevent the pool from overflowing and the water from becoming contaminated. However, you'll actually cause more harm than good if water is drained from the pool. Draining your pool leaves the pool walls and floor unprotected, susceptible to scratches or damage by flying debris. More importantly, a pool without water can potentially pop up and “float” on a rising water table.

Keeping the water inside your pool, despite the contamination after a storm, will provide an easier clean up.

Leave Your Pool Open

When preparing your pool for a storm, leave it uncovered. Installing any kind of cover across the pool will not do much to protect against dust and contaminants because storms often bring strong winds and heavy rain that can cause the cover to lift off your pool. Also, placing your cover over your pool leaves it vulnerable to sharp branches and other debris during a storm.

DIY TIP: By keeping the cover off your pool during a storm, you will prevent unwanted damage and avoid having to deal with a difficult removal if the cover is full of water and debris.

Balance and Control Pool Water

During a storm, it's inevitable that dirt, debris, and other contaminants will find their way into your pool. Even though you will most likely need to shock and balance your pool after any occurrence of severe weather, preparing the pool by balancing and adding algae controller to the water beforehand will save you a lot of work after the storm has subsided.

By balancing your pool chemistry and adding a large dose of an algae controller such as Leslie’s Algae Control, most of the organic contaminants that are blown into your pool will be quickly and easily eliminated. Any of the contaminants that do remain in your pool should be destroyed by shocking your pool after the storm.

Prepare Pool for Storms With Some Routine Clean-Up

If you have time to prepare your pool before the storm, remove as many toys, pieces of furniture, and other items as you can, and store them in a safe place such as a shed, garage, or basement. Much of the damage from a storm is caused by items that could have been stored out of harm’s way.

DIY TIP: Never put objects into the pool to protect them from a storm, as this could damage the objects and cause serious metal staining problems for your pool water.

If Possible, Trim Branches From Nearby Trees

If you have time, prepare for a storm by trimming branches and limbs from nearby trees will help protect your pool and possibly even your home. Large and overgrown branches can snap off easily and become dangerous projectiles during storms. A little routine maintenance can go a long way — especially when strong winds or storms are in your area.

Turn the Power Off

To prevent potentially dangerous electrical issues, it’s imperative that you turn off the power to your pool equipment — such as pumps, motors, filters, heaters, chlorinators, and lighting fixtures. Even if you turn off the power to your pool equipment, it can still be damaged by wind, rain, and debris. To avoid damage, we recommend covering pool equipment with a large plastic tarp or waterproof coverings. Ensure that the covering is tied down tightly to avoid water from getting to the equipment.

And even if you have prepared your pool for a storm, it's almost certain that you will need to do some cleaning after it rolls through. We've got you covered there too with our tips for cleaning up after a storm.

If you have any additional questions about preparing your pool for a storm, visit or contact your local Leslie's store to speak with an expert. Once the storm is over, we'll be happy to help you get your water chemistry back on track. Just bring a water sample to the store for a free Leslie's AccuBlue® test and complete water analysis.

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