Milder temperatures are here, meaning the snow and ice that has accumulated on or around your home this winter will begin to melt away. Before spring arrives, it is important to take steps to prevent any potential water damage to your home. Follow these simple tips to ensure your home is ready for this year’s spring thaw.
1. Use a shovel
Remove snow away from your home’s foundation. As the snow melts, it can leak into the foundation and cause a flood in your home. The potential damage can be very disruptive and costly.
2. Seal those cracks
Walk around your home and identify cracks in the foundation that can occur due to moisture that has built up over the winter months. Be sure to repair and seal cracks to prevent any further damage or leaks. If the cracks seem significant, call a professional.
3. Clean eavestroughs
Eavestroughs are vital for protecting against water damage as they are the primary source for directing water from your roof away from your home. Melting snow or ice will not drain properly if eavestroughs are clogged and can cause significant damage to your roof and the foundation of your home. Clear eavestroughs of any debris that has built up over the winter or consider installing a screen guard to prevent debris from entering the eavestrough.
4. Check your sump pump
If you have one, a sump pump is typically located in a pit in the basement and collects water from melting snow or heavy rain and pumps it outside before it can reach the floor level of your home. If the sump pump isn’t working properly, it could cause your basement to flood. Test your sump pump by dumping a bucket of water into the sump. This will raise the float and if the pump turns on and the water drains, your system is functioning. Also, be sure to inspect for any debris and clean the pump inlet screen.
5. Protect against ice damming
Ice damming occurs during the winter when heat is transferred from your poorly insulated attic to the roof. The snow melts to the edge of the roof and then freezes when it hits the lower edge or soffit of the roof. If you’ve noticed the presence of large icicles around the edge of your roof this winter, have a professional conduct an inspection of your attic for heat leaks. A common renovation like installing pot-lights in the ceiling can really impact the warm air escaping into the attic. Come spring thaw, these leaks can be a source of water damage to your home.