Winter is here and with it comes lots of snow. When snow starts to melt, it turns into water, and as a general rule of thumb, ten inches of snow will melt into one inch of water. Now it is important to not that the actual amount depends on how heavy the snow is. Also unlike rain, melting snow is already on the ground.

Whenever the snow melts quickly it can introduce a significant amount of water to the soil around your property. If the snow is unable to flow away from your foundation, then it can pool there and eventually enter your home. With enough water, this can soon cause flooding. To make situations worse, add in spring rain as it will speed up the melting snow while also adding additional water.

Why Snowmelt Flooding isn’t Just Limited to Spring

Spring tends to be the most common time for flooding caused by melting snow, but it can happen at any time. With weather patterns being so unpredictable nowadays you might experience heavy snow and freezing temperatures one day and warmer temperatures and rain the next. This means snowmelt flooding can happen at any time. You’ll want to make sure you check your basement for signs of snowmelt flooding any time there is a significant change in temperature.

Main Problems of Snowmelt

Flooding

Although unlikely, a rapid thaw can result in snow flooding your basement or crawl space. This typically happens if there is a sudden change in temperature. Snowmelt flooding can damage flooring and walls, as well as furniture and personal items.

Water Damage

Similar to flooding, water damage can result if there is water enters your property more slowly. Water damage caused by snow melting typically happens during more gradual thaws but can result in the same amount of damage.

Mold

Anytime there is a persistent source of water, there is a potential for mold. Although mold generally prefers warmer temperatures, it will thrive if the conditions are right. It is most common during slow, gradual thaws, but may develop after water damage or a flood as well.

Snowmelt Flooding Prevention

  • Shovel snow away from your home, keeping it away from your foundation
  • Shovel snow so that it doesn’t roll toward your home when it melts
  • Clear snow from your roof to prevent excessive buildups
  • Keep drainage areas around your home clear of snow and ice build-up
  • Inspect your basement walls for cracks. This includes caulking around windows too
  • Check your roof for ice and snow build-up
  • Never ignore water in your basement. Investigate and repair the source as soon as possible.
  • If you have water in your basement or a flood from melting snow, dry and clean the area as quickly as possible.

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