We’re sure getting our share of rain this monsoon season, aren’t we? We’ve got a way to go yet before it’s over too. If you live in an area prone to flooding—or even if you don’t—have you ever had to deal with a flooded swimming pool? If so, you may already know that screened in pools can flood too. However, if you’re someone who always looks for the positive note, at least there’s a bright side.
One of the reasons that homeowners install mesh screen pool enclosures is to keep storm debris from making it into the water. That’s because cleaning the pool after a big storm can be a huge undertaking. And, if the flood was caused by rising water rather than just an overabundance of rain—actually, the word “Aaaack!” comes to mind.
Was your reaction like-minded?
If so, you’ve probably seen pools that look like the one pictured—or worse! Providing we aren’t in the midst of a catastrophic hurricane, screened in pools can act as a huge filter and hold the debris washed along in rising flood waters at bay. Just make sure that the enclosure is anchored down tight so it doesn’t float away!
After the fact, there are specific steps to get things back to normal. Do you want to make sure you tick everything off the list?
Assess the damage
After the storms pass and it’s safe to go outside, you need to see how badly the pool flooded and if there’s any damage to pool equipment. Take inventory of your pool pump, pipes, and filter for obvious damage. If there was any danger of your pool shifting within the ground due to the deluge of water being absorbed into the ground over a short period of time, you’ll want to look for cracks in the pool floor and walls as soon as possible too.
If this is the first time you’ve experienced pool flooding, you should take time to determine if the problem stemmed from your own backyard. When it rains, does the accumulating runoff drain from your yard or back up into your swimming pool? What about your home’s gutters? Where is that water heading? Should you see that the flooding was caused by either of these scenarios, you need to address the problem as soon as possible to prevent it from happening again.
Clean the deck
When it comes time to start physically cleaning, start with your flooded pool deck. If you don’t you’re just going to wind up cleaning the same debris over and over because it’s definitely going to find its way back into the water.
That could mean waiting for water to recede from your backyard and the ground to begin to dry out. Do that if necessary. You don’t want to find yourself exerting energy needlessly trying to clean out the pool only to have the debris and contaminants wash back in. You’ve got enough to do!
Brush the pool
The next step is to give your pool a thorough brushing. Yes, it’s hard work, but just imagine those bulging arm muscles after you complete the job! You want to stir every bit of sand, dirt, or silt from its hiding place. We recommend brushing the pool at least twice, more if necessary though. It all depends on how dirty your pool is.
Set your pool filter to run 24/7 during the brushing stage. It’s going to speed up the cleaning process.
Vacuum it up
You’re about to reap the benefits of all the vigorous brushing of the past few days! It’s going to be nice to slow down a bit—and slow and steady wins the race at this stage of the game. Here are some pointers for you:
- Turn on your garden hose and keep the water flowing in as you vacuum the dirt out. You don’t want your water levels to get too low.
- If you use a sand or diatomaceous earth (DE) filter, set the multiport valve to the “waste” function.
- Keep an eye on the pool skimmer as you vacuum. If the water level drops below the skimmer, take a break. You want to keep the water flowing continuously through the filter during the process.
Test and balance pool water
Once you’ve gotten most of the sediment, dirt, and debris cleaned out of the pool, it’s time to break out the test kit or strips. After such severe trauma, the water chemistry is likely totally out of whack. Even if there wasn’t any ground flooding and was strictly a rain event, rain water carries all types of pollution and contaminants.
Balance the pH and Total Alkalinity first, then check the Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid levels. Retest and adjust at least once more over the next few days.
After you’ve got the pH, alkalinity, calcium, and cyanuric acid back to normal, it’s time to do a little chemistry. An overabundance of phosphates in the pool water causes problems because its a primary food source for algae. After heavy rain, especially one that caused your pool to flood, the phosphate levels are sure to be extremely high.
Check the phosphate levels and add an organic phosphate remover to normalize the levels and keep algae growth at bay.
After you’ve vacuumed, got the water chemistry balanced and checked, and removed phosphates, it’s time to grab the shock and get the chlorine into the system. You want to raise the chlorine level in the pool to 30 parts per million (ppm). Continue brushing your pool surfaces in the morning and evening to loosen any remaining debris—it tends to be tenacious, doesn’t it?
Set your filter to run continuously over the next 72 hours. The chlorine is going to work to remove any staining that occurred on the pool walls as well. However, you can speed up the process by adding a stain treatment as well.
Enzyme and clarifier
If your water continues to look a little murky, use a water clarifier to get rid of any remaning organic material. That’s what’s causing your problem. If the condition remains, consider using a pool flocculant to do more heavy lifting. However, you’ll need to vacuum your pool again after using the product.
Clean your filter
The water is looking good by now, for sure! After all the filtering, it’s certainly time to give your pool filter some attention! You may want to just start fresh with an entirely new filter, but if not, give it a thorough cleaning and replace it.
That’s it! Mission complete. All that’s left to do now, is to pull out the floats, grab the family, and dive in!