Getting your home prepared for winter is one thing, but it’s also important to know how to protect your home when the ice and snow melts outside. Melting snow can leave slush, mud and water behind, and can cause damage to the foundation of your home, threatening both your exterior and interior. Make sure to check these key things around your house when the ice melts to prevent flooding and water damage to your home.
1. Check Your Roof
Your roof should be your primary concern when it comes to melting snow and ice. Check your roof and eaves to make sure there’s no snow accumulation. If there is, you need to deal with it straight away. Cover your gutters, then use a roof rake to remove snow from your shingles. Gently brush away heavy accumulations of snow and ice dams to avoid cave-ins. Clear snow and debris from roof gutters so water can easily drain away. If you’re not comfortable going up on your roof, hire a handyman or contractor who can do the job for you.
2. Point Gutter Downspouts Away From Your Foundation
If your downspouts aren’t properly positioned, water will pool at your home’s foundation and potentially leak into your basement. Make sure your downspouts are draining away from your house and consider adding a six to eight foot extension if you have the room for it. If space is an issue, you can place a splash block underneath the downspout to revert water onto your lawn and away from your foundation. Make sure you don’t redirect water toward a driveway where it can freeze and cause a safety hazard.
3. Look for Obstructions
Check around your house and property for anything that may prevent melting snow from draining. If you find any obstructions, move them out of the way so the water can drain freely and won’t cause any damage to your home.
4. Shovel Snow Away From Your Foundation
Shovel any excess snow away from your downspouts, basement window wells and stairwells. If you see snow within ten feet of your home’s foundation, remove it. Blow, shovel or sweep it away to stop any immediate threat, as well as prevent the wet softening of soil around your house. If this goes unchecked, moisture can seep into your foundation when it rains in the spring.
5. Consider a Sump Pump
If you live in an area where annual snowmelt is the norm, consider having a plumber or professional contractor install a sump pump. With a sump pump, any ice or snowmelt water that gets into the basement drains into a sump pit. When the water gets too high, the sump pump automatically pumps excess water out of the basement and away from your property to prevent flooding. Some sump pumps even come with an alarm that notifies you if the pump stops working and the water levels start to rise. It’s an investment, but can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Protect your home from melting snow and ice with these key tips and maintenance checks!