Over 4.5 million homes were affected by wildfires in 2019 alone.

Many of these millions of homes that were affected also had swimming pools in their backyards. If you do not take proper care of your swimming pool after a wildfire, you could cause long-term damage to your swimming pool.

If you live in a wildfire-prone area, it is important that you know the best pool cleaning steps to take if your county has a wildfire.

Here are the most important steps you need to follow when cleaning your pool after a wildfire.

Check to Make Sure It Is Safe to Return Home

In areas directly impacted by a wildfire, you need to check with local authorities to make sure it is safe to return to your home. Powerlines may be damaged and electricity may be turned off to prevent additional fires from breaking out.

Be careful when returning home. Check with local authorities if there are any power outages or electricity shut-offs prior to using any of the electrical equipment to clean, vacuum, or filter your pool.

Clean Surface Debris

Once it has been ruled safe to return to your home following a wildfire, start the pool cleaning and repair process by cleaning out the surface debris. Remove any large debris such as tree branches, shrubbery, and leaves.

You will find a layer of ash and soot sticking to the water's surface. A useful trick to remove as much as you can of this layer of ash and soot is to wrap your skimmer net with a towel or t-shirt. This will help to pick up all those hard to remove, ultra-fine particles that are sitting on top of your water.

Brush the Floor and Walls of the Pool

Ash and soot collect in your pool during and after a wildfire. While some ash remains sitting on top of the water's surface, some will sink into the water. This can cause staining to the walls, floor, and liners of the pool.

The next step in cleaning a pool following a wildfire is to brush the walls and floor of your pool. This will help remove any particles that have stuck to the pool's surfaces. Use the vacuum to then clear away the particles as they float down to the bottom of the pool.

The faster you get rid of any ash and soot inside your pool, the less likely they are to leave a lasting stain.

However, your pool may sustain serious stains. You should try to use a stain remover. This can help get rid of the stain after a few weeks. If the stain does not come out of your pool's surface, you may need to power or acid wash the walls of your pool.

Backwash and Clean the Pool's Filtration System

Odds are that you will need to turn your pool's filter back on when returning to your home after a wildfire. Running the pool's filter will help move the water and clean up any tiny particles floating around in your pool.

You may have to backwash and clean the filter out several times before it runs clean. Confirm where it legal to drain the backwash. Many cities and towns prohibit draining into the streets and storm drains.

Check the pH and Chlorine Levels

As a pool owner in a wildfire-prone area, you must make sure to monitor the chemical levels in your pool following a wildfire. They need to be at healthy and safe levels.

The pH level should be between 7.2 and 8.0 before it can be used again. There are several trusted products you can use to get the appropriate pH level for your pool.

Next, you want to check the chlorine levels in your pool. Your chlorine levels should be at a minimum of 1.5 before being used.

How Airborne Ash Negatively Affects Your Pool

Wildfires create tons and tons of airborne ash. This airborne ash can reach homes and pools that are over a hundred miles away from the actual wildfire itself.

Airborne ash is made up of the burned components, such as building structures, organic material, and dry suppressants used by fire departments to fight the wildfire.

The ash often contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. It can even contain hazardous toxins from burned building structures that have arsenic or lead. This mixture of airborne ash significantly increases the amounts of phosphates and nitrates in your pool.

If this ash is not quickly removed from your pool, the overabundance of phosphates and nitrates can solidify into a limestone cement. This can ruin your pool filter and require money to correct.

It is important that you quickly clean and remove the airborne ash that makes its way inside your pool before it causes serious damage. There are professional pool cleaners experienced in cleaning up airborne ash out of pools following wildfires.

Connect With Us For More Pool Cleaning Steps Today

Wildfires can cause significant damage to your home and the rest of your property, It is critical that you take care to maintain your pool both before and after a wildfire to prevent long-term damage.

If you are looking to learn more about pool cleaning steps or to schedule quality pool maintenance services, reach out to the team here at Hammerhead Pools. We are located outside the Sacramento area.

We can help keep your pool safe, clean, and ready to use year-round. We can also help return your pool to great condition following a wildfire.