4 Tips for Cleaning Your Swimming Pool After a Storm
From rain showers to hurricanes, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your backyard oasis. Reclaim your pool’s cleanliness with these simple steps:
Step 1: Check
This step is most important for severe storms, like hurricanes.
After the storm, check your pool for any leaks with the bucket test. Weight a bucket with a brick or rock, fill it 75% full of water and mark the inside water line with a permanent marker. Then set it in the pool (on the steps) and mark the outside water line on the bucket. Give it a few days, and then check the water levels. If both drops in level are the same, it’s just evaporation—which typically accounts for about a quarter inch of water loss daily. But if the water loss outside the bucket is more than inside, it means you likely have a leak in your pool. And, that means it’s time to call a pro.
Step 2: Clean
Depending on the level of debris in your pool, you may only need to clean your skimmer basket and run your automatic pool cleaner. For more severe storms, you may need to do significantly more. Regardless of how much cleaning you need to do, here are a few good pool cleaning reminders:
- When cleaning your swimming pool, use a nylon brush to scrub algae or other stubborn debris that sticks to pool and poolside surfaces. Clean along the water line and tile border area to remove calcium build-up. Hose off the deck and walkways around the pool to wash away extra dirt.
- It’s also important to “back wash” your pool’s filter system regularly. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure your filter continues to work correctly and to clean out your pool’s system of pipes. Also, be sure to give the pool’s filter enough run time each day to cycle through all of the water.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, is full of information for residential pool and spa owners. Just visit their site to find answers to common questions on topics ranging from disinfection and testing to cleaning and remediation to animals and pools.
Step 3: Test
You’ve probably already worked with your pool professional to determine what the proper chlorine and pH levels should be for your pool. Did you know that storm debris can drastically change your water chemistry? So after a storm you’ll need to check and balance your water chemistry—this means pH, alkalinity, hardness and conditioner levels must be adjusted and monitored. Make sure to check your water chemistry before adding chlorine. Then, test your pool’s water pH 2–3 times per day until you’ve reach the correct levels. After that you can go back to you regular schedule!
Step 4: Treat
If there is storm debris in your pool, you will likely need to shock or “super chlorinate” your pool. This will help your pool bounce back to normal. Basic shock products kill bacteria, break down residues that aren’t filtered out well, cut down on chlorine odor and eye irritation and keep the water crystal clear. If you water is heavily contaminated, you may need to floc your pool. This will cause the particles that are suspended in the water to sink, so you can remove them with your automatic pool cleaner. Don’t forget to talk with your pool professional to decide what products are best for your pool and exactly how they should be used.
Now that you’ve weathered the storm and cleaned you pool, it sounds like a great time to take a relaxing dip!