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Snowmelt Preparation 101 – A Handy Guide for Homeowners

Melt-offs from snow and ice can be a problem toward spring, as they can inundate your basement and damage the foundation.

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Warming weather and receding ice may make you forget your winter woes. But your problems aren’t over. Melting snow in Grand Junction, CO, and surrounding areas still poses the same risks as heavy rains. You need to protect your home’s foundation and basement from excess moisture and water, as they’re destructive. 

Don’t wait for snow to melt or ice to thaw before you can take action. By then, it could be too late to salvage the situation. Act now so you won’t have to deal with flooding and water damage in early spring. We strongly recommend the following precautionary measures. 

protect home from melting snow

Ways Melt-offs Damage the Basement 

Be wary of the snowmelt as it can weaken your home’s foundation especially the support walls around the basement. Water can also seep through cracks and openings and erode the cement blocks. 

Your floor will feel the brunt as well. As water gets in, it will soak and damage the laminate or hardwood floors as well as carpeting. The glue that holds the vinyl and tiled floors will weaken and become less effective. Your tiles will come out and the floor will bubble. 

Water from melting snow will damage the drywall and paneling of your basement, causing them to deteriorate. After a short time, the drywall will crumble and break while the paneling may rot or warp and bend when it dries out. 

The furniture in the basement is like sitting ducks in snowmelt. Their legs can get saturated by water and start rotting. Cushions and pillows won’t be spared either. 

Your appliance and electronics in the basement can also get damaged. Snowmelts will cause their interior components to rust and fail. 

If you store your collectibles, seasonal items, or keepsakes on the basement floor, the melting snow can soak and ruin them. Cardboard boxes are notorious for absorbing water and passing the same to items inside them. 

Excess water from melt-offs can also encourage mold and mildew growth, both of which can cause health problems. Lastly, water from melting snow can get into electrical outlets and lead to electrical hazards or even cause the entire electrical system in your home to fail. 

Protecting Your Basement 

Here are some ways you can better protect your basement and foundation from the danger melting snow poses to your home. 

  • Clear any snow pile around your home’s foundation. Make sure snow stays at least three feet away all around your home. 
  • Clean the drainage and dig paths for melt-offs to drain away from your home. 
  • Clear snow that falls on the roof before spring. Otherwise, it can form a barrier that will cause water to pool close to the foundation. 
  • Clear snow from the downspouts so melting snow on the roof can drain away fast. 
  • Heap bags of sand around the foundation toward the end of winter to keep water out of the foundation. 
  • Keep gutters and downspouts leaf-free and debris-free. These have the potential to block water, causing it to overflow and run down the walls of your home. 
  • Seal any cracks, gaps, and openings on your foundation walls. If cracks and damage like bowing are significant, you may need to have professional foundation repair solutions installed. 
  • Increase the grading of your landscape. The higher the grade of your lawn, the faster the water will flow away. 
  • Check and test the basement sump pump and if you don’t have this device, install one. 
  • Reseal your basement and egress windows and make sure the window wells are intact. 
  • Invest in other basement waterproofing solutions including interior drainage (paired with a sump pump) to catch and remove water, and a dehumidifier to dry out the basement air. 

Are you worried about the impact snowmelt could have on your home? Get in touch with the professionals at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado. We have been helping homeowners resolve foundation repair issues for many years. Our contractors know what it takes to prepare your basement for the changing weather. Schedule a free basement waterproofing inspection and repair quote today!

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