The Abominable Snowmelt
The splendor of seasonal snowfall is a beautiful sight to see, but something sinister is sneaking behind those flakes…snowmelt. In West Virginia, dramatic temperature swings are a common occurrence. When periods of significant snowfall are amongst these weather patterns, the risk of home and property damage from snow accumulation intensifies. Snow tends to accumulate in areas that are not often impacted by rainfall which can expose vulnerabilities in roofs, walls, and foundations. When repeated instances of freeze and thaw occur, the opportunity for devastation increases dramatically. Here are a few tips that might protect your home from the Abominable Snowmelt:
- Remove snow from around your home: snow accumulation near your foundation, windows and doors can leak into your home once it starts to melt. Remember to shovel any decks, driveways or patios that slope towards your home.
- Check your roof and gutters: consider hiring a professional to remove the snow from your roof so that water run-off is at a minimum once temperatures rise. If that is not possible, be sure that your gutters are clear so that the water will have a path away from your home. If possible, attach a sloped leader to your downspout that leads run-off at least 10ft from your home.
- Test your sump pump: if water does get into your basement, you want to be sure it is taken care of quickly. Before the snow starts to melt, test your sump pump and your sump pump discharge pipe to ensure it's in working order.
- Clear snow from drainage areas: storm drains and catch basins can often get clogged with snow — if you can do so safely, clearing snow from these areas can help keep water away from your home.
- Rearrange your storage: in case water does get into your basement, be sure to keep any valuables, chemicals, or anything else you'd like to keep dry off the floor.
- Check your appliances: clear out space around your water heater, furnace and other appliances. If possible, raising your washer and dryer off the floor could help protect from water damage.
- Do not try to do too much: getting on ladders or your roof at any time of the year is a risky proposition, even more so when there is snow involved. Clearing snow and gutters is important in the prevention of water damage but be sure to use a professional to handle any dangerous situations.
Just remember, if being attacked by the Abominable Snowmelt this winter, the Heroes from SERVPRO North Kanawha and Teays Valley can save you and your home faster than you can say “Yukon Cornelius!”