How to Prevent a Flooded Basement in the Winter
Winter is upon us and that means that it is very important to protect our basements from any flooding this year. Heavy snow, heavy rain and in turn heavy snowmelts are extremely threatening to unprotected basements. Many people believe that the rainy season is the worst time of year for a basement. While heavy rain does pose a high threat to unprotected basements, winter and snow can be worse.
When the temperature of the ground is above freezing the accumulated snow instantly melts and turns into water, which has the same effect as rain. If the temperature of the ground is below freezing, snow will accumulate and as soon as the temperature rises it can turn into a heavy stream of water pounding against the foundation of your home. When water accumulates around your home, the water can seep through any porous surfaces, cracks in the foundation, window wells, etc.
You know how a quick change in temperature from cold to hot can crack glass?
Big temperature changes can do the same thing to your foundation, weakening it over time and allowing water to flow freely into your basement. The last thing you want to do is walk into a flooded basement during the cold winter months! Don’t wait till winter to invest in basement waterproofing, the colder weather makes it tough to work outside, so it is important to take care of the work before the temperatures drop.
Here are some tips from the professionals at Triad Basement Waterproofing that will show you how to prevent a flooded basement in the winter.
- Keep Snow Away From Your Home
When you’re clearing your driveway after a snowfall, make sure to shovel the snow away from your home. This ensures that when the snow melts it won’t seep inside your home. Big piles of snow are like a mini river waiting to leak into your home.
- Keep Your Gutters Clean
Keeping your gutters clean is something you should be doing throughout the year anyway. Before winter comes around check your gutters for leaves and debris. Make sure that your gutters are safely guiding water away from your home. Use downspouts and direct them away from your home to make sure that water doesn’t pool near the foundation of your home. Keeping your gutters clean ensures that snow doesn’t accumulate so when the weather warms up you don’t witness a massive snow melt and flood.
- Check for & Prevent Frozen Pipes
Water expands as it freezes and this can put extreme pressure on the pipes that are containing it. Pipes that freeze often are those that are exposed to severe cold such as swimming pool supply lines, sprinklers, outdoor faucets and other pipes housed in unheated areas like the basement, garage or attic. A small crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, which can cause severe flooding, structural damage and mold. To prevent frozen pipes you can check the insulation in your home, wrap the pipes in heat cables or tape and make sure cold air doesn’t leak inside where the pipes are located. It might also be a good idea to let warm water drip from the faucets overnight to keep the pipes from freezing.
- Check Your Sump Pump
Double check your sump pump before winter rolls around. Make sure there are no spots in the hose where water can collect, the water should flow away from your home. If water is collected and freezes, it can stop the pump from working or even damage it permanently.
- Call for Help!
If you do experience any issues with basement flooding, then don’t hesitate to call for help as soon as possible. It’s important to keep your home dry so that mold doesn’t develop and pose higher health risks. It’s important to be prepared ahead of time so that you don’t have to deal with basement issues during the cold winter months, so make sure to take advantage of basement waterproofing and other precautionary measures ahead of time.
Coming home to find your basement flooded is never fun, but experiencing flooding during the cold winter months can be brutal. The winter season is supposed to be warm and cozy and there’s nothing like a flooded basement to ruin the whole experience for you and your family. It’s important to know what to look for and how to prevent a flooded basement in the winter. Triad has more than 27 years of experience dealing with basement water problems and the experts here can help insure that your home stays dry at any given time of the year. Check out our website for a full list of services and contact us if you have any questions !