Snow is beautiful to watch while it’s falling, but it can prove problematic once it lands. After all, no one enjoys shoveling sidewalks or plowing streets. Once the snow starts to melt, it leaves behind slush, ice, mud and water. Snowmelt can even damage your roof, foundation and basement if those are not adequately protected.
How to Protect Against Melting Snow
As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Avoid property damage from snowmelt this year by following these tips:
- Clean the gutters: If your gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves and other debris, melting snow won’t drain off the roof properly. Water may flow over the sides and drip down near the foundation, potentially causing unsightly streaks and structural issues. Ice dams may also form on the roof, allowing water to seep under the shingles and leak into the attic. There, snowmelt can damage insulation and lead to mold growth. Clean the gutters every fall and spring to prevent these issues.
- Check your drainage: Do soggy spots linger in the yard? Does the soil slope toward your house rather than away from it? You may want to work with a landscaper to improve soil grading and drainage, so that when the snow starts to melt, it will flow away from your house where it can’t cause damage.
- Install a sump pump: Melting snow, combined with spring rain, can lead to rising groundwater levels. Basements are prone to water damage if moisture seeps up from the soil. To prevent this, install a sump pump at the lowest point on your property. This usually involves digging a pit in an inconspicuous corner of the basement. The pump runs automatically if the pit starts to fill with water, keeping your basement safe and dry.
- Remove snow promptly: After the storm clears, head outside with a shovel or snow blower and move snow away from your house. Also, sweep snow off the roof if you can to lower the risk of ice dams. Keep an eye on your gutters and downspouts, and break off any ice that threatens to block the drainage.
What to Do if Snowmelt Gets In
If your roof, foundation or basement sustains water damage due to melting snow, act quickly. Here’s what to do:
- Take photographs or videos of the damage for insurance purposes.
- Dry wet building materials as soon as possible. Mold can start growing within 24 hours.
- Move electronics away from the wet area to avoid possible electrocution or fire.
- Call a home restoration service provider to assist with the cleanup efforts.
As North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, DKI is well-equipped to help you recover from snowmelt damage. We can also help you implement prevention tactics to avoid future incidents. To request water damage restoration, please contact us today. We have over 200 nationwide locations to serve you in your time of need.