With scientists and weather experts warning that this could be one of the most severe El Niño’s we’ve seen in years, it is important for homeowners to prepare their homes for the deluge that may be coming.
El Niño is Coming
When homeowners do not take proper precautions, the chance for damage to their property increases, which will lead to costly repairs. The following tips will help you care for your pool during El Niño, and any extremely rainy season.
Pool Covers for El Niño
In an area that is expected to get a lot of rain, a pool cover may not be the best idea. When torrential rain strikes, water and debris may pool on the cover, putting undue stress on it. This water may run off and flood areas with poor drainage. Sharp debris carried by wind may even puncture the cover. In these areas, it is best to lower the water level a few inches (never empty a pool), and allow the rain to fall into the pool. In addition, erecting a fence around the pool will restrict access to the pool throughout the winter.
In areas where the temperature is expected to drop to freezing, the pool will need to be covered and properly winterized. In these cases, it is important that homeowners check the pool and cover throughout the winter, and remove any debris or piling snow from the cover.
For pools that are going to remain uncovered throughout the rainy months, the rain may bring debris and contaminants into the pool water. The water should be treated with extra sanitizing chemicals. This will fight off any extra contaminants that make their way into the pool through the rain or run off.
Drainage and Landscaping
Before the rain starts, homeowners should test the drainage in their yards to ensure that run off rain will not puddle up and cause damage to landscaping or soil. Saturated soil can cause structural damage to pools and decking if the ground moves too much. Rain gutters should also be checked and cleaned before the rain starts.
Patio and Pool Furniture
Patio furniture, including tables, chairs, and umbrellas, should be moved inside if possible, or otherwise secured if they must remain outside. A piece of furniture blowing into a pool can cause damage to a plaster or vinyl pool liner, and can lead to costly repairs. If the pool is covered, flying furniture can damage the cover and cause leaks or other problems with the pool, especially if the weather drops below freezing.
Pool equipment should be shut off before a big storm. Extra caution should be taken with pool heaters that are powered by gas or propane. Automatic pool cleaners should be turned off to prevent blockage from extra debris in the pool. Homeowners may even want to shut off the circuit breaker to the pool equipment before a big storm.
With a little planning and preparation, homeowners can greatly reduce or even altogether prevent damage to their pool and surrounding areas, thereby reducing the cost of repairs needed to restore pools to operational when the weather heats up again.