Preventing Water Problems Caused by Snow Melt

Living in an area that sees a lot of snow every year can be difficult. You may begin to rejoice when the temperatures begin to rise, heralding the arrival of spring. However, what you may not know is that you may be at risk for flooding, especially if the temperature rises too quickly.

What is Snow Melt?Snow melt

Snow melt, also known as spring thaw, occurs when warm temperatures return and causes the snow to melt. Because the remaining snow covers frozen land, the melting snow has nowhere to go. The melted snow may then run through any cracks in a home’s foundation or flow into nearby waterways, causing flooding.

Reducing the Risk of Flooding from Snow Melt

There are several things that homeowners can do to reduce the risk of flooding caused by snow melt. It is estimated that each cubic foot of snow can contain up to 3 gallons of water. Approximately 1,000 cubic square feet of snow surrounding a home could quickly turn into 2,500 gallons of water that may seep into the home’s lower level or basement. During the winter, moving snow away from the home before it piles up can help keep water away from the foundation of your home once the snow begins to melt.

You can also test your home’s sump pump prior to the temperature rising by pouring some water into the pit. If the sump pump isn’t working, it may be worth calling your contractor so that it can be fixed before the snow begins to melt.

What to do if a Flood Occurs

There is always the chance that your home could be damaged when a flood occurs. If the floor of the lower level or basement is completely covered with water, an electrocution hazard is present and the proper authorities should be notified prior to re-entering the home.

If the water has receded, the drying process must begin immediately. All wet items should be removed and either cleaned or discarded within 24 to 48 hours, including:

  • Carpeting
  • Bedding
  • Furniture
  • Drywall

Once it is known what damage has been done to the home, you should contact your insurance provider and a local contractor. The contractor can inspect your home and give estimates for the damage while your insurance provider can start working getting the repairs taken care of.


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