4528 Bissonet Street
77401 Bellaire, TX

Are You Prepared For Storms?

 

Expansion Joints

The expansion joint is an important interface between the pool and the deck. These two independent structures need to remain independent. Keeping debris out of the joint ensures that the joint is "true" and the two structures are not in contact with each other. When they do come in contact, the pool may develop a crack in the tile, which is usually an indication that the "beam" has cracked all the way through. The beam is defined as the top 6 or 8 inches of the pool wall which holds the tile & coping. Beam damage gets worse with time, eventually crumbling, requiring beam reconstruction. To avoid this costly expense, caulk those joints! Caulking also keeps out water which can freeze and expand. This can damage the coping, beam and eventually, the tile.

A good caulk job starts with good surface prep. The sides of the joint must be clean, dry, rough and solid. Backer rod foam should be placed in the joint to give the caulk something to sit on top of. The caulk is shot into the joint to a depth of 3/8 - 1/2". The caulk should be an elastomeric sealant, suitable for outdoor use. Replace or repair caulking annually if it cracks or pulls away from either side.

Prices for professional expansion joint caulking run $3.50 - $5.50 per linear foot. Add up the perimeter of the pool to figure your price. The variance depends on the width of the joint, which is usually 1/2" - 1". Price includes full prep, caulking and finishing.

 

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season is officially from June 1 – November 30 each year. In addition to being prepared with food, water, batteries and evacuation plan, pool owners must take certain steps both before and after the storm to minimize the damaging effects to the swimming pool.

Here is an overview of those precautions.

  1. Do Not Empty Your Pool. You may lower the water level a couple of inches but keeping the water in the pool provides the weight to hold the pool in the ground. An empty pool is a high risk for popping out of the ground.
  2. Turn off electric power to swimming pool equipment. Circuit breakers at the main electrical panel should be turned off to prevent pump motors, lighting, and heaters from operating.
  3. Protect the equipment. Wrap the pump motor and time clock/controller box with waterproof plastic and secure it in place to prevent sand and driving rain from entering.
  4. Remove all loose items from the pool area. Patio furniture, toys and pool tools can become dangerous projectiles in high winds and should be stored inside a building. It is not advisable to throw the patio furniture in the pool due to risk of damage or staining to the pool interior.
  5. Add extra chlorine to the pool. To prevent contamination from the excessive storm water and debris, add an additional dose of granular chlorine.

 

After the Storm

  1. As before the storm, Do Not empty the pool. An empty pool is subject to “floating” or popping out of the ground due to “lift” pressure from excessive ground water caused by heavy rains. If the pool will need to be drained due to excessive debris and/or damage, seek professional advice.
  2. Remove debris from pool first. Remove large objects by hand and use a leaf rake to remove smaller debris from the pool. Do not use the pool’s vacuum system as you will likely plug the plumbing.
  3. Check electrical equipment before restarting system. Remove plastic covering and let the electrical devices dry thoroughly before turning circuit breakers on again. If they have been exposed or submerged in water, they should be checked by a professional.
  4. Prime and clean the filter equipment. Prime the pump, clean the filter and run the system 24 hours a day until water clarity if restored.
  5. Add chlorine to pool. To prevent contamination from the storm debris and excessive water, add a “shock” dose of granular chlorine to the pool water.
  6. Balance the pool water chemistry. Readjust the pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, conditioner and salt levels and monitor over several days.

 

Although the above is not a comprehensive list, it should provide you a general guideline of what to do before and after a hurricane or any major storm. Sweetwater Pool and Patio has compiled the essential points on this list and now offers a Hurricane Pool Prep and Post Storm package. Mindful of the damage that occurred with Ike 2 years ago; many homeowners will want to be more proactive with storm preparation. Whether you choose to have Sweetwater perform the needed preventative steps or to do them yourself, minimal negative impact to your swimming pool and equipment is our goal. We are always available to answer your questions and concerns.


Pre Storm Package

Pre-storm prep including lower water level turn off equipment at breaker panel wrap motor(s) in moisture protective wrap (2 motors included)-see note add additional chemicals to the pool

Post Storm Package

Post storm Including readjusting water level in pool, turn on breakers at electrical panel, remove plastic protective wrap from motor(s), turn on equipment, prime pump/filter, check for leaks/damage, add chemicals to rebalance water chemistry. Submit estimate for any needed repairs & cleanup.

 Note: Protective wrap will minimize risk of damage from vertical and horizontal rain, risk increases with flooding/high water submersion.

Pre or Post Package $49.95 *plus chemicals