How to Prepare Your Pool for a Storm

Pool Storm Preparation: Protecting Your Swimming Pool Before and After Severe Weather

Severe weather can strike at any time, particularly during hurricane season, and as a pool owner, preparing your swimming pool can mitigate the risk of damage and ensure a swift return to normal operation. Effective pool storm preparation involves safeguarding not just the pool water and cover but also the surrounding area and equipment from potential harm caused by high winds, heavy rains, and other flying debris. This guide outlines detailed steps to protect your swimming pool before and after severe weather strikes, ensuring that you preserve the integrity and enjoyment of your aquatic investment. 

Understanding the Risks to Your Swimming Pool

Before diving into the specifics of pool storm preparation, it’s crucial for pool owners to understand what makes swimming pools vulnerable during severe weather. Swimming pools, especially those exposed outdoors, can collect excessive storm water and debris, leading to contaminated water and potential physical damage. Strong winds can turn loose items like patio furniture, pool cleaning tools, and even fallen branches into dangerous projectiles that may harm your pool’s structure and equipment.

Preparing the Pool Area

Preparing your pool area before a storm is crucial to minimizing potential damage not only to the swimming pool itself, but also to its surrounding environment and equipment. This process involves a series of proactive steps aimed at reducing the risk from nearby trees, securing electrical devices, managing water levels, and safeguarding pool equipment. Here’s how you can effectively prepare your pool area to withstand severe weather.

Securing Nearby Trees and Managing Debris

The presence of nearby trees can be a double-edged sword during severe weather. While they offer aesthetic value and shade, they also pose a risk due to falling branches that can damage pool covers or even the pool’s structural integrity. Before storm season hits, inspect these trees and trim any branches that hang directly over your swimming pool to prevent potential damage. This not only protects your pool cover from tears but also reduces the amount of excessive debris that could clog your pool’s vacuum system or damage the screen enclosure.

Managing Water Levels and Preventing Ground Water Issues

While it might seem logical to empty your pool before a storm to prevent overflow, doing so is not recommended due to the risk of structural damage caused by excessive groundwater. When a pool is empty, the condition known as excessive ground water caused by hydrostatic pressure can force the pool to pop out of the ground. Instead of completely draining your pool, it’s advisable to lower the water level slightly. This approach helps accommodate incoming rain and effectively manages water levels, thereby preventing overflow and mitigating the risk of costly repairs due to excessive groundwater-caused damage. 

Protecting Electric Pool Equipment and Power Sources

Electrical safety is paramount when preparing your pool for severe weather. Start by turning off all electric power to the pool area at the main electrical panel. This includes power to pump motors, the pool’s vacuum system, and other electrical devices that are integral to your pool’s operation. Covering your electrical equipment, particularly electric pool equipment, can prevent sand and water from causing damage or creating hazardous conditions.

Storing Loose Items and Protecting Pool Accessories

Pool toys, patio umbrellas, and other loose items in the pool area should be stored securely in a sheltered place. Flying objects can damage the pool surface, cover, or enclosure, turning what could be a simple cleanup into a more complicated repair job. Additionally, applying chlorine to the pool before the storm can help manage the water quality, especially when facing an influx of rainwater and debris. 

Pool Covers

Utilizing pool covers is a common strategy for swimming pool protection. However, when a tropical storm or hurricane is imminent, it might be safer to leave your pool uncovered if the cover is not specifically designed to withstand heavy rains and high winds. Pool covers can accumulate water and debris, potentially causing more harm than good by either sagging or being torn. If your cover is sturdy and secured, ensure it is tightly fastened. If you’re uncertain, it’s safer to remove the cover to avoid damage.

Preparation for Restoring Normal Operation

Once your pool area is secured, outline a plan for restoring normal operation after the storm. This includes preparing to clean out debris, checking circuit breakers, and inspecting pump motors for damage. Knowing the location of your local store that supplies pool equipment can be beneficial if you need to replace damaged items quickly.

By taking these steps to prepare your pool, you effectively reduce the risk of damage and ensure a quicker return to enjoyment post-storm. Proper preparation protects your investment and enhances safety for everyone in your household.

Pool Water and Chemistry Management

Balancing your pool water chemistry prior to a storm is vital. Extra chlorine can be added to the pool to prevent contamination from the likely influx of storm debris and excessive stormwater. Ensure your pool’s pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels are within appropriate ranges to facilitate easier maintenance after the storm and to prevent algae growth.

After the Storm: Pool Recovery Steps

Once a severe storm has passed, assessing and repairing your swimming pool equipment becomes critical to prevent long-term damage and ensure safe operation. Here, we help you navigate the recovery process, particularly focusing on issues like an empty pool and the pump motor, which are crucial aspects of your pool’s mechanics.

Assessing Water Levels and Structural Integrity

After the storm, one of the first steps is to check the water level. If you find your pool has significantly lower water levels or is nearing an empty pool state, it’s important to address this quickly. An empty pool can be susceptible to structural damage due to hydrostatic pressure from the groundwater. Refilling your pool to the appropriate level not only helps maintain its structural integrity but also aids in the balance of pool chemicals, which are vital for clean and safe pool water.

Inspecting and Restoring the Pump Motor

The pump motor is a critical component of your pool’s filtration system, and it must be in working order to maintain water clarity and hygiene. Begin by inspecting the pump motor for any signs of storm damage. Check for physical damage like cracks, as well as signs of water ingress, which could impact its operation. If the pump motor has been exposed to water, it’s crucial to ensure that it is completely dry before attempting to restart it. This might require the services of a professional to manage and repair safely.

Cleaning Debris and Preventing Contamination

With the pump motor inspected and the pool water level stabilized, your next step should be to remove any debris that has accumulated in and around the pool. Leaves, twigs, and other storm debris can lead to contamination and clog your pool’s filtration system. This cleaning process is essential to prevent further strain on your pump motor and ensure that it operates efficiently.

System Check and Chemical Rebalance

Once the physical cleanup is done, perform a full system check to ensure all components are functioning correctly, especially the pump motor. Turn on your pool’s filtration system and observe any irregularities in operation. Additionally, test your pool water and rebalance the chemicals. This is crucial after a storm, as rainwater and debris can alter the pH and chlorine levels, making the pool unsafe for use.

Regular Monitoring and Maintenance

After addressing the immediate concerns post-storm, establish a routine to monitor your pool’s condition. Regular checks on the water level, pump motor function, and water chemistry can help catch any issues early, preventing major repairs and maintaining a healthy swimming environment.

By methodically addressing each aspect of pool recovery, from managing an empty pool to ensuring the functionality of the pool pump motor, you can restore your swimming pool to its pre-storm condition and enjoy safe and refreshing swims for the rest of the season. 

Integrity Pools: Your Dallas Pool Builder for Storm Preparation

At Integrity Pools, we understand the challenges of preparing for severe storms in Texas. As your dedicated Dallas pool contractor, we specialize in custom pool designs and installations that withstand harsh weather. Whether you need emergency assistance or proactive measures, our expert team is just a phone call away. Trust us, your premier pool builder in Dallas, to protect and maintain your swimming pool against any storm.


Preparing your pool for a hurricane or severe weather is essential to prevent serious damage and costly repairs. By following these comprehensive steps, pool owners can ensure that their swimming pools remain safe and are quickly operational after any storm. Remember, the safety of you and your family is paramount during such events, and the pool can be restored with careful and considered preparation. Stay informed through resources like the National Hurricane Center, and always prioritize human safety over property.

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