As storm season rolls in, it’s not always major named storms that cause damage. Sudden gusts from severe thunderstorms can blow things around and loom up with nearly no warning. Summer BBQ’s and gatherings can also make your patio area a liability with lots of friends milling around. Make sure you’re prepared by child-proofing the pool and keeping your patio a safe place.
1. Make it Kid Safe
The Florida Swimming Pool Association recommends 5 layers of protection for child-proofing the pool. These include fencing and gates, door and gate alarms, perimeter alarms, latch locks, and safety covers to minimize the threat of child drowning. Always supervise children when swimming. In fact, the association recommends that even adults swim with a buddy instead of alone.
2. Keep it Clutter Free
Remove toys and floats after playing, and keep them in a secure spot. Whether your family or any guest slips and falls from a toy, it’s not a pleasant outcome. Additionally, removing toys can reduce children’s temptation to jump in and helps with child-proofing the pool. Also, in the event of a storm, flying debris from wind gusts can cause damage to glass doors and screens. An outdoor storage box would be ideal for both small and medium accessories. Large floats can be stored in a garage or under an overhang.
3. Maintain It
Weekly pool maintenance can be shortened to a quick routine, according to ThisOldHouse.com. First, skim the surface for debris and empty the skimmer basket. Next, vacuum with the pool jets adjusted to point down. After that, it’s time to test for PH balance and chlorine levels. Correct levels with the needed chemicals, using lithium-based chlorine for the best performance. Finally, head out to the filter and turn it to backwash to clean out the filter lines, clean the pump filter and add more chlorine to the system. A clean pool avoids bacteria that turns a pool a sickly green, rendering it unusable.
Pressure wash your patio often to clear away dirt and grime. Allow for enough drying time before hosting on your patio space. Be sure to direct the spray away from the pool or be prepared to do your cleaning routine after.
4. Drain Excess Water Before and After a Storm
It’s important to maintain the water level of your pool in the event of a large amount of rain. In the event of your pool overflowing, flood coverage will need to be applied towards the damage. If you own a pool, it’s imperative that you purchase flood insurance to protect against any flooding that originates there.
5. Cover and Clean Your Grill
Consider the location of your grill. Position a grill where it can safely vent away from the wall while in use. 32% of grill fires occur on patios, screened in porches or terraces, according to ThisOldHouse.com. They recommend using a grill at least ten feet from any combustible walls or overhangs. Use a grill brush to clean off any charred bits after each grill session. Check for leaks in your propane tank by putting soapy water on the valve. If you see it starting to bubble up, there’s a leak.
The Florida Swimming Pool Association offers a wealth of information regarding pool safety and maintenance. Also, if you’re in the state and planning to build a pool, using one of their member builders means you’re using a professional whose standards are vetted for excellence. Fudge Insurance is a proud member of this community.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover liability and damages to your patio in the event of a storm or accident, however, pool flooding and overflow is a separate concern. Contact Fudge Insurance if you have questions about coverage in your patio and pool area. Enjoy a relaxing and safe time in your outdoor space.