Call Us! Hablamos Español!

Hurricane Precautions in Florida

How are electrical storms generated?

Thunderstorms form when hot, humid air rises to find cold air. As this humid air rises, water vapor condenses, forming huge cumulonimbus clouds which are responsible for these storms.

The state of Florida has an average of 2.92 million lightning strikes to the ground per year, followed by Texas with an average of 1.17 million lightning strikes between 2009 and 2019. In addition, Florida ranks first in ground lightning per square mile with an average of 20.4.

According to data collected by Betsy Crips of the University of Florida, the large number of thunderstorms and lightning deaths in this state is due to a combination of high humidity, high temperatures and their location between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. For this reason the state of Florida has the title of the U.S. lightning capital with thunderstorms 100 days a year.

Despite this unavoidable natural phenomenon, many pool owners in the city of Doral and Miami Dade County complain that their pool has not been properly serviced due to rain, and the pool technician will not perform any lost tasks again until the next regular service.

Even when someone wants to work during the rain, OSHA regulations are the reason pool technicians can’t use any pool equipment to brush, scrape and vacuum any pool during the rain and least of all during an electrical storm.

John Jensenius, a NOAA lightning expert, says the only safe places to be during a storm are in a building with four walls and a roof or in a car. A cabin, tent and other places to protect yourself from the rain don’t protect you from lightning.

June is the month of hurricanes, for this reason we have brought you a series of steps that can help you keep your house, patio and pool safe.

  • Under no circumstances should you take the water out of your pool before a storm, the empty pool can suffer structural damage.
  • Do not immerse objects in the pool as these can damage the pool’s finish, such as objects or furniture that are made of metal as they can corrode in the water and generate rust stains that are very difficult to remove.
  • Never turn on pool equipment after a storm, especially if the pool is flooded. Wait for the pool technician to turn them on. The pump must be completely dry before turning it on.
  • Check the drainage areas of the pool
  • To avoid flooding, you should check all drainage areas, drains, and returns of the pool and remove any debris that may clog them.
  • Clean gutters of leaves and branches, check where the water runs to see that they are not blocked.
  • Inspect your roof and check that all shingles are attached, otherwise they could fall into the pool, your yard or perhaps a window.
  • Put away all the tools, decorations and furniture in your yard, big or small, any loose object can become a projectile.
  • Turn off your patio’s automatic sprinkler system to prevent it from activating after the storm, causing your patio to flood.
  • Check your trees to see if roots and branches are rotting, cut off dead branches. If you have a dead tree, it should be removed because it could be thrown into your house or the pool by the storm.

If you want more tips to protect your home in this hurricane season we recommend you read the following post:

How do I prepare my pool for a hurricane?

How to Clean a Pool of Algae on your own?

Pool algae are microorganisms that can damage your family’s health if not treated quickly, the problem is that you don’t realize your pool has algae until they are already growing there, which by then, it’s too late. However, here we will show you how to clean your pool so you can enjoy the summer with peace of mind.

How do you clean a pool?

The first thing you should know is that cleaning a pool is not an easy task. We usually recommend that you hire a pool service company such as ours to clean and maintain your pool healthy.

This should be the first option to consider because pool companies have trained and skilled personnel to handle any type of situation your pool may present.

However, many pool owners do their own pool maintenance, for this reason today we will give you a series of steps you will need to take to clean your pool yourself.

Steps to clean your pool yourself:

1. Get to know your pool

Before starting to clean your pool, the first thing you need is to know how your pool is composed and how each of its parts works internally.

By this we mean the circulation system and the parts that make it up (pumps, filters, collectors, pipes, networks and heaters).

2. Having the necessary pool tools and equipment

Besides all the knowledge you will find in this article and in all the other pages and articles you have read before coming here, another important aspect is to get the necessary tools for the task: brushes for the pool, pool vacuum cleaner, nets, pH meter, special disinfectant for pools and finally, your best friend in cleaning: THE CHLORINE.

3. Brushing the pool

Once you have all the necessary tools to clean your pool proceed to brush the walls and floor of the pool. This will help remove any particles adhering to the pool, which will increase the effectiveness of the cleaning.

4. Chemical Test

With the pH meter, check the values of the pool to verify that the water chemistry is correctly balanced, that is, check that the values are within the established parameters (7.2 -7.6).

If they are not, you should add the amount of chemicals needed to bring the water into balance and after a few hours repeat the test.

5. Chemical balance of the pool

To correctly balance the pool water it is important to control the parameters that determine the water balance:

pH of the Pool Water

This is the measure of how acidic or basic the water is. The perfect pH range for pool water is 7.4 to 7.6.  Some people said the range is 7.2-7.8, which is wider and a more forgiving range. 

This wider range is still acceptable, although it is advisable to always keep the narrower range of 7.4-7.6 as a target.

NOTE: Use the wider range as a warning zone to correct the pH as soon as possible.

Total Alkalinity:

This increases the ability of the pool water to resist a change in pH. The key objective of this parameter is to be able to control the pH of the pool. It is achieved as a buffer solution, so that when materials are added to the pool that can raise or lower the pH of the pool water these changes are controlled and do not result in major changes to the balance of the pool water.

When a substance that can affect pH is added to the pool water, the total alkalinity reacts to neutralize and maintain the pH in the desired range.

NOTE: Total alkalinity does not determine pH, but acts to help maintain pH in the desired range.

Calcium Hardness

This parameter refers to the amount of calcium present in the pool water. The best range for calcium hardness is 200 to 400 ppm.

To increase the calcium hardness, you should use calcium chloride. This value is a precaution because if the pool experiences or results in high levels of calcium hardness, in most cases you will have to drain the pool completely or partially.

The Temperature

To properly balance the pool water, the temperature of the pool water should be kept between 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22° C) and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29° C), except in the case of special therapy pools or spa pools.

The air temperature of an indoor pool should be kept between 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1° C) and 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3° C) above the pool water temperature.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

This factor is usually the least of our concerns. TDS is the sum of all materials dissolved in water and is normally in the range of 250 ppm or more. Most experts have discussed what levels are considered too high, but there is no real lower limit.

TDSs are composed of many different chemical compounds, which means that the problem of how much is too much actually depends more on what they consist of than how much is there.

Let’s say that sodium chloride or ordinary salt is extremely soluble and therefore unlikely to cause a problem, whereas, as we have seen, calcium compounds can be a problem even at quite low levels.

In general, when TDS exceeds approximately 1500 ppm, problems can begin to occur.

6. Equipment Status

Check the condition of your pool equipment, the pump and filter are very important for water circulation, they serve as the lung and heart of the pool. Chemicals are also very important, as they will be transported throughout the pool through the piping system and will perform cleaning and disinfection throughout the pool area.

7. Green pool algae

Green algae is the most common problem in all pools, 98% of pools have it at least once in their lives. This is not to be alarmed, there are many ways to eliminate this algae, cleaning routines, chemicals, and our favorite: CHLORINE.

Generally green pool algae disappear with the use of chlorine, although there are occasions when a special algaecide has been needed for the type of algae it presents.

8. Circulation system

After adding chlorine to the water, running the pump and circulation system for 24 hours, this will cause the chlorine to reach all areas of the pool, floor, walls and corners where algae usually start to grow. If this is not done there is a great possibility that the algae will be generated again since they have not been completely eliminated.

9. Let your pool rest

Once this process is complete, let your pool rest for 1 or 2 days so that the chlorine level in the water is stabilized at normal levels for you and your family to use.

Letting your pool rest does not mean you will turn off the circulation system, the water in a pool should always be kept circulating or algae will be generated. Letting it rest means that you will not use the pool until the chemical levels are stabilized.

Maintaining a clean pool is a job that can be exhausting, plus on many occasions we don’t have the time to do this task as we have other obligations to attend to. 

At Doral Pool Services we are committed to our work and our goal is for you to enjoy a clean and healthy pool every day.