Preventing Spring Thaw Damage

Water is one of the  top cause of damage to homes, and repairs can be extremely expensive and hard to fix once absorbed. Preventing spring water damage and looking for potential problems before they occur should be a priority for every homeowner.

Here are a few tips to help you protect your home from the damage water can cause as the ice and snow melt away.

Inside your home

Look for the tell-tale signs that water may be seeping in and get to the root of the problem before significant damage can occur:

  • Puddles of water in the basement
  • Water stains on ceilings and walls in the basement, ground floor and upper floors
  • Cracks in concrete floors that have increased in size or are showing discoloration
  • Signs of mould and mildew under windows and near baseboards
  • Damp smells and musty odours
  • Check that your sump pump is working and have it repaired if necessary. If you don’t have one, consider seeking a professional assessment to have one installed
  • If you don’t have a sewer backwater valve in the basement, consider seeking a professional assessment to have one installed

Around your foundation

Prevent problems before they happen:

  • Remove snow from around the foundation to a place where it can melt and drain away from the foundation
  • Make sure your downspouts extend so they discharge meltwater at least two metres from your foundation
  • Ensure downspouts are kept clear and that a path for water to drain away is maintained
  • Check window wells for seepage and ensure the window wells are clear of any debris or excess snow

On your roof:

Make sure your roof is ready for the change of season:

  • Check for leaks in the attic, on the upper floors and in the basement
  • Look for icicles on the edge of your roof; they’re a clear sign of ice dams on the roof, and ice dams mean a leaky roof
  • Safely remove any ice dams or have them removed by professionals. You will want to have the roof inspected as soon as possible to ensure there has been no damage to the membrane for water to seep in
  • Clean out roof gutters of any debris before the winter, when it is safe to do so, so that meltwater can flow to the downspouts
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