How to prevent melting snow from flooding your basement
As spring starts thawing out Montana (we hope!) one of the biggest dangers for homeowners is snow melt. The water produced from quickly melting snow can pose a hazard to basements and ground level dwellings, quickly causing water damage if not addressed.
The best option is to prevent the problem before it starts. Here are a few ways to avoid flooding basement due to snowmelt:
- Keep your foundation clear
If snow is still on the ground, remove it from the five feet surrounding your home; one cubic foot of snow can produce about three-quarters of water. This means a couple feet of snow can produce a lot of water!
- Fix any cracks in the foundation wall
If you’ve noticed any cracking in the walls of your basement, get them fixed as soon as possible. These are easy pathways for water to enter your home. Keep in mind, even if you don’t see visible cracks, concrete is porous, so if water is resting against your home, it can eventually seep inside.
- Ensure pumps are working properly
Insurance companies often don’t cover flooding caused by an outside water source, so you want to avoid flooding at all costs. A pump or sump pump can be a good solution! However, these often go unused for months at a time, so regularly check to make sure yours is in working order. This should include regular cleaning, as well as battery tests (if necessary).
- Keep valuables off the floor
Sometimes, flooding may be inevitable. If that’s the case, you’ll want to prepare for the worst. Keep valuables off the floor and away from hazardous areas.
According to the Institute for Business & Home Safety, there is no guaranteed way to prevent all water damage in your residence. If the worst happens, contact a restoration company as soon as possible. The first 24 hours to 48 hours are vital in mitigating damage and preventing additional hazards, such as mold growth, according to the EPA.