Whether you love or hate snow, there’s nothing you can do about Cleveland, OH, snow until the weather starts warming up. Melting snow can instigate many of the problems homeowners face during rainy weather. Lucky for you, there are things you can do in winter to mitigate the snowmelt effects and protect your foundation.
Snowmelt flooding happens a lot more than you think. And it can happen anytime there are temperature fluctuations. However, most damage happens in early spring due to faulty gutters, improper runoff, and foundation cracks. Let’s look at ways you can protect your basement from the melting snow.
Problems Associated with Snowmelt
Be wary of snow that melts toward spring. Melting snow can introduce copious amounts of water to the foundation soil. Ten inches of snow can produce one inch of water. How much water is produced depends on the weight of the snow. If the drainage is poor, this water will pool and eventually enter your home, causing flooding.
Another thing you need to know is that melting snow can also lead to foundation cracks. As the soil gets saturated with water, it exerts hydrostatic pressure on the walls of your foundation. This can cause foundation cracks and bowing foundation walls.
Keep an eye out for the discharge line of your sump pump in winter. If this pipe is pitched poorly, water from melting can settle and freeze in the pipe leading to pipe obstructions.
Preparing for Melting Snow
Before the weather warms up, you need to figure out how best to deal with thawing snow. Below are some handy tips to get you started.
- Shovel away snow that falls around your home’s perimeter so it won’t melt directly next to the foundation. Make sure snow stays several feet away from the foundation.
- Check your landscaping before snow starts falling. If the ground slopes inward, regrade it to prevent melt-offs from running toward your home.
- Clear snow that falls on the roof to prevent buildups. This also reduces the amount of water that will flow through the guttering system when the snow thaws.
- Add soil up to the frostline to discourage melting snow from flowing toward the foundation.
- Keep the surface drainage around your home clear by removing snow and ice. This ensures melting snow drains properly and prevents backups.
- Check the exterior of the basement walls for cracks. Seal and repair cracks as they can widen and let in water.
- Inspect your gutters and downspouts. Clear debris and leaves as they can cause blockages, which can result in ice dams.
- Make sure downspouts point away from your home and extend far out. These lines also can be placed in the ground.
- Re-caulk your basement windows to stop snowmelt from leaking into your basement.
- Test your basement sump pump to ensure it’s working properly to avoid surprises when snow starts melting.
- Invest in other professional basement waterproofing solutions such as an interior drainage system (paired with a sump pump) and a dehumidifier.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get professional help. Start preparing now and make sure all the necessary measures are in place. If you have basement issues like leaks, condensation, or a faulty sump pump, get in touch with Ohio Basement Systems for a free basement repair inspection and quote. We can investigate and fix the problems as soon as possible. From waterproofing the basement to sealing wall cracks, we’ll do everything to ensure snowmelt doesn’t get into your basement and cause water damage.