With temperatures scooting steadily toward the 60’s, puddles are a more common sight than snowbanks. The arrival of spring is a welcome one, but rapidly melting snow and upcoming April showers can be dangerous for your home, causing basement flooding and water damage. If you take the following steps to prevent flooding, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the warm weather worry-free.
1. Clear snow away from house – Snow packed in next to the sides of your house is prone to leak down your basement walls as it melts. Once temperatures start to rise, shovel snowbanks back 3-5 feet from your house.
2. Remove ice from gutters – Ice packed into your gutters can cause ice dams, thick blocks of solid ice that prevent meltwater from running off your roof through downspouts. Fluctuations in temperature like we experience in early spring create a cycle of melting and freezing that make the conditions ideal for ice dams to form. If ice dams are blocking your gutters, melt-off may seep back into your house or cause damage to your roof. Clear your gutters of ice and debris!
3. Test your sump pump – Your sump pump is responsible for removing water that enters your basement. If your pump isn’t functioning for some reason, it won’t be able to do its job properly and you may find yourself with standing water building up in your basement. Inspect your sump pump early in the season to ensure it’s in good working condition.
4. Install a water alarm – If you’re worried about flooding or your home has a history of flooding problems, you can give yourself some peace of mind by installing a water alarm. The flood sensor on the alarm will alert you if it detects water in your basement so that you can take action before serious damage occurs.
5. Move valuables to a climate-controlled location – Many people store boxes in their basements, but few consider the potential dangers of basement conditions. Water damage, mold, and moisture build-up are all real threats to your belongings when stored in a basement that’s not climate-controlled. To protect these items from damage in the event of flooding, move any valuables or fragile items to a more secure, climate-controlled storage location.
Taking these few simple precautions can save you thousands of dollars of damage to your home and belongings in the event of a spring flood.