How to Prevent Home Flooding from Melting Snow
When the cheery warm weather is just around the corner, homeowners in high snowfall areas are eager to celebrate. Homeowners shouldn’t be too quick to feel snug, because along with the spring thaw comes melting snow. Snowmelt around the perimeters of a home can seep into the foundation and into the basement, causing troublesome home flooding.
Just 36 inches of light snow can result in 3.6 inches of water. In fact, a 1,000 square-foot roof with one foot of accumulated snow will produce 2,500 gallons of water. Given this figure, homeowners can easily imagine the flood risks when snow surrounds the home or is piled onto the rooftop. If you have cracks in your home’s foundation, this flaw makes water leaks especially likely. Plus, the concrete in a basement is porous enough to allow liquid to seep through it and directly into the home.
The water from snowmelt can be dangerous if it seeps into your home. Ground water can contain toxic chemicals, sometimes even fuel residues. Plus, when a home’s electricity is powered on, the flooded indoors becomes a deadly environment. Not only is property damaged by water, but mold growth can be a harmful nuisance.
Flooding from winter snow is an inevitability that must be addressed to protect both the health of a home’s occupants and the property’s physical structure. Experts have come up with a few tips to help prevent home flooding in the midst of a winter thaw.
When you put in the effort to shovel the snow from your driveway and sidewalk, you’ve accomplished a hefty task. Your labor is unfinished, however. All the snow surrounding your home, sitting idly and directly next to your foundation, must also be removed. Experts recommend clearing a five foot area around the foundation. Any structures, like patios or decks or the driveway, that slope toward your home, must also be cleared of snow to prevent water from forming a channel into your residence. Once the snow starts to melt, the resulting water can leak through windows, doors and the foundation.
The gutter systems and downspouts of a home should be inspected for any blockages. A functional downspout will lead water away from your home. A sloped leader can also be attached to the downspout to ensure water runoff travels at least ten feet away from your home.
You might also invest in a snow rake to safely remove snow from the roof so that when the weather warms up, you’ll have minimized any possible likelihood of water runoffs. A snow rake is safe for homeowners to use, since you’ll have both feet firmly planted on the ground while removing the snow from the roof. An alternative to a snow rake is hiring a contractor to remove accumulated snow from the rooftop.
Check the Sump Pump
The sump pump removes excess water from your basement, including the condensation that arises within the home. A finished basement necessitates a working sump pump. If your home has a sump pump, make sure it functions.
When you examine the sump pump, make sure there is no debris, including ice buildups, blocking the drain. Any clogs should be removed to allow the pump to drain properly. Another strategy to ensure the sump pump works is to remove the plug from the outlet and plug it back in. You should audibly notice the sump pump running. You could also pour a couple gallons of water into the sump crock. The sump pump should automatically start pumping the water out. If all tests fail, replace the sump pump. Be sure to test the sump pump before the snow is expected to melt.
The goods and belongings in a basement should be kept elevated and off the floor in case the area floods. Harmful chemicals and irreplaceable valuables must be given special attention. If you keep fuels or fuel tanks in the basement, they can pose as a dangerous issue if they mix with floodwater.
If your basement houses the washer and dryer unit, furnace, heater or other household appliances, make sure they are raised off the floor. Doing so prevents water damage from ruining these major and expensive home appliances.
Seal Foundation Wall Cracks
Any cracks in the home’s foundation walls must be sealed to prevent moisture from seeping inside. Sealing kits and epoxy are available at local hardware stores and are easy for any homeowner to apply.
Floodwater must be dealt with quickly. Water absorbed into porous materials, like drywall, flooring or the home’s wooden structures, weakens them, making inhabiting the home a risky scenario. Floodwater can also harbor microorganisms that spread illness and infections. Mold growth is another damaging factor. Mold spores flourish in moisture-ridden areas, leading to health problems for those who are sensitive or allergic to the fungi. Even those who are normally healthy will experience the ill effects of mold, including runny eyes and nose, coughing and itchy skin.
When your basement floods as a result of a winter thaw, or for any reason, including pipe bursts, severe weather conditions or leaks, contact a flood damage restoration company to remove the excess water and restore the area to its pre-damaged condition.
Our technicians at ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete utilize advanced water extraction equipment and drying machinery to thoroughly dry the areas affected by floodwater. Technicians from ServiceMaster also disinfect the areas during the process to eliminate the risks of dangerous bacteria from posing as a health hazard to the home’s occupants. Materials affected by the floodwater, such as carpeting and upholstery, are also cleaned.
ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete faithfully serves the Staten Island and Brooklyn communities. The company also services residences and businesses in the Somerset and Middlesex counties of New Jersey. Our teams of dedicated specialists at ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete are available 24 hours a day to take both emergency and non-emergency calls.