Reclaiming Your Oasis: A Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning Up Your Pool After a Storm

Mark Larm Aug 20, 2023
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Cleaning up your dirty swimming pool after a storm

Reclaiming Your Oasis: A Comprehensive Guide  to Cleaning Up Your Pool After a Storm

Imagine the gentle sound of water lapping against the pool’s edge, the sun casting warm reflections on the crystal-clear surface, and the joy of diving into your private aquatic haven.  A swimming pool is not just a luxurious amenity; it’s a sanctuary of relaxation and fun.  But when a storm rages through, it can turn this oasis into a debris-filled challenge.  Fear not, for in this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to restore your pool’s sparkle and ensure your swimming experience remains as delightful as ever.

  1. Assess the Situation

Before you roll up your sleeves, take a moment to survey the scene.  Walk around the pool area and examine any visible damage caused by the storm.  Look out for fallen branches, leaves, and any other debris scattered about.  Don’t forget to keep a good eye out for living creatures like snakes, possums, and rats, and be careful when reaching for large objects and opening that skimmer lid.  Check the pool water for discoloration and clarity issues, and inspect the pool equipment and surrounding structures for potential damage.  

  1. Safety First

Safety is paramount during any cleanup effort.  Before diving in-literally-make sure you’re properly equipped.  Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from potential debris.  Gloves will shield your hands from any sharp objects and those live critters lurking beneath the water’s surface.  While you might be eager to take a refreshing dip, hold off until the water is properly treated and balanced to ensure your safety.

  1. Remove Debris

Armed with a pool net and brush, start your cleanup by removing large debris from the water.  First I usually get out the smaller Gazebos and lawn chairs that have blown in with my pool brush.  It is stronger than the net and fits down and around those tight angles.  Gently scoop up fallen leaves, twigs, and any other storm-related clutter.  You should have a pool net that has a bag on it and is angled to skim the bottom of the pool for larger debris that you don’t want to vacuum up.  Be cautious when reaching into the water to avoid any surprises, and avoid overexertion to prevent straining your muscles.

  1. Skim and Vacuum

With the larger debris out of the way, it’s time to tackle the smaller particles that might be muddying the water.  It’s time to turn on the pool equipment and utilize the pool skimmer to effectively skim the surface and pick up smaller debris, don’t forget to clean the skimmer basket frequently.  For a thorough cleanup, venture to the pool floor with a pool vacuum to eliminate dirt and debris that has settled.

  1. Check and Clean Filters

Your pool’s filter plays a crucial role in maintaining water quality, so they need a bit of attention post-storm.   Examine the filters and clean them if necessary.  If your pool uses a sand or DE filter, backwashing might be in order.  For cartridge filters, remove and rinse them to keep water circulation at its best.  Here is a YouTube video on How to Backwash a filter. And one for cleaning a cartridge filter.  

  1. Test Water Chemistry

Testing the water chemistry after a storm is essential to determine its current state.  Using a pool test kit, check parameters such as pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and more.  An imbalance of water chemistry can lead to issues like algae growth and equipment damage, so don’t skip this step. 

  1. Adjust Chemical Levels

Based on your test results, it’s time to adjust the chemical levels.  Begin with the pH:  If you're cleaning up after a heavy rain storm you may find your pH low because rain is pure and pure water is acidic.  Yes, I said it is acid rain, all purified water is acidic. If you usually use acid to reduce pH and now you want to raise it don’t fret, or go to the store and buy some.  Just grab that old box of Baking Soda out of the freezer, open it up, and toss it in the pool.  It’s probably a good time to change that old thing.  Balance chlorine levels and other chemicals accordingly, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Remember, gradual adjustments are key to preventing further imbalances.  If you need further help adjusting chemicals check out this video on Testing Chemicals.  

  1. Shock Treatment

For an extra boost in water clarity and sanitation, consider a shock treatment and an enzyme boost.  This helps eliminate contaminants that may have entered the pool during the storm.  Choose the appropriate shock treatment for your pool type and follow the instructions carefully for the best results.  Shock soon and you won’t have to spend any extra money on more algicides.  

  1. Brush and Clean the Pool Walls

Preventing algae buildup is essential for maintaining a clean pool.  Grab a pool brush and give the walls and floor a good scrubbing.  Getting that algae suspended in the water helps the chlorine do its job.  Pay special attention to the waterline where dirt and debris tend to accumulate.  

  1. Maintain Consistent Maintenance

As the cleanup process comes to an end, don’t forget that regular maintenance is your best defense against future pool-related challenges.  Set a schedule for routine skimming, vacuuming, water testing, and chemical adjustments.  Consistency will ensure your pool remains a pristine oasis year-round.  For a free pool maintenance scheduler and links to my YouTube videos check out 


Your pool is more than just a place to swim-it’s a source of relaxation, a gathering spot, and a slice of paradise.  A storm might disrupt its serenity, but armed with the knowledge from this guide, you can confidently restore it to its former glory.  By assessing the situation, prioritizing safety, and following each step diligently, you’ll soon find yourself enjoying the soothing waters of your freshly cleaned and balanced pool.  Embrace the satisfaction of a job well done and bask in the tranquil oasis you’ve preserved for yourself and your loved ones.  Remember, your pool is waiting to welcome you back with open waters, so dive in and enjoy the rejuvenation it brings to your home.  

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