Spring officially starts on March 20. In addition to rising temperatures and longer daylight hours, melting ice, snow and the ground produce a winter thaw. Take several steps as you prevent water damage to your home.
Inspect Your Roof
Storm debris or heavy snow and ice can damage your roof. Additionally, poor circulation or heat leaks can inhibit proper ice and snow melting.
Visually inspect your roof and remove any ice dams. Then note any damaged areas, including sagging, or areas of unmelted snow. You can hire a roofing professional to take a closer look and perform any necessary repairs.
Repair the Gutters and Downspouts
Ideally, downspouts should direct water at least six feet away from your home. However, the downspouts or gutters may be clogged or damaged.
As you inspect the gutters and downspouts, clear away any debris. Then replace broken pieces or install downspout extenders as you divert water away from your home.
Accumulated snow near your home can melt and leak into your home through the foundation or window wells.
When daytime temperatures rise or on sunny afternoons, use a shovel or ice pick to break up large piles of snow and ice. Remove obstructions like wood piles or overgrown shrubs, too, that might prevent proper melting.
Fix the Foundation
Even a tiny crack in your home’s foundation can allow water to seep into the basement or foundation walls. Plus, damaged window well caulk or debris build-up may promote water damage.
As you walk around the exterior of your home, look for evidence of foundation cracks or window well damage. Check the interior basement walls, too, for cracks or discolorations. Seal any cracks as you protect your home.
Prepare the Basement
While you do your best to prevent excess water in the basement, you should be prepared in case the water rises quickly.
First, test the sump pump. Make repairs or purchase spare parts so it’s ready to remove water from your basement if necessary. Then install backflow valves to prevent expensive sewer backups. Finally, move items to higher ground for protection in case water does seep into your basement.
Verify Your Homeowners’ Insurance
Spring flooding around your home can cause damage that affects your home and safety.
Revisit your homeowners’ insurance policy, and verify that it covers damage and repairs caused by excessive water. If your agent recommends flood insurance, purchase a policy as soon as possible so you’re covered before the big thaw.
This spring, melting snow, ice and ground will increase water around your home. Take these steps as you prevent damage and protect your house.