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Snow is Thawing! How to Avoid a Flood in Your Basement

The approach of spring is an exciting time. While most people are more than ready to see the snow go, not nearly enough are prepared for the excess water run off that can occur during the spring thaw. Melting snow may not only signify the start of spring, but it can sometimes bring basement flooding as well. In order to protect your basement from the potential of flood from melting snow, there are several things you can do right now.

Check your Basement

First, you should always look at the state of your basement. With cold weather, homes have a tendency to shift and expand, which can lead to new cracks and gaps that may not have been there before. Look for any cracks in the walls, and be sure to examine all windows and doors to make sure there are not gaps. Any issues should be sealed promptly in order to prevent the risk of a flood when snow thaws.

Clean the Gutters

Other important areas to address are the gutters and downspouts. These areas can become clogged with snow, ice and debris during the fall and winter, which can lead to problems during the thaw. If these systems do not drain properly, water may not be directed away from the house adequately. This can increase your risk of a flood. For the best results, make sure your downspouts direct water at least six feet from your foundation.

Keep snow away from your foundation

You should also be sure to keep up with consistent snow removal throughout the winter. While most people maintain snow removal on their sidewalks and driveways, it is also important to consider snow removal from areas around the house or even the roof. Look carefully at where snow is piled in order to gauge which areas are most likely to flood during the spring thaw. Also be sure that when you use snow removal on the driveway or sidewalk that you are not piling it close to the house.

These measures are small fixes that can have a big impact. By protecting your basement from a flood, you can look forward to spring with confidence this year.

Picture of Anne-Marie Grantham

Anne-Marie Grantham

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