A flooded basement or crawl space caused by heavy rain or snow melt is a problem no homeowner wants to encounter. Flooding, the number one natural disaster in the U.S., also occurs as the result of a storm surge and high tide.
You don’t have to live near a river to experience the effects of flooding as this phenomenon can happen anywhere. Where there’s significant flooding, water intrusion is likely. After a winter storm or blizzard, the snow will eventually melt, and if your home’s foundation has any cracks or leaks, guess where that melted snow will end up? Exactly – in your basement or crawl space.
Water intrusion due to snow melt is not uncommon. Plenty of homeowners report a wet basement or crawl space after heavy snow. Not only does water have the potential to damage the structural components of your home, but long after the water recedes, residual moisture can contribute to mold growth. Mold and mildew are a threat to your home’s indoor air quality and your family’s health.
To prevent water from making its way into your home, here are a few steps you can take:
Get a sump pump installed.
The right sump pump will do wonders to keep your basement dry. A sump pump, in conjunction with a basement or crawl space dehumidifier, can be a powerful combatant against water, moisture and mold in your basement or crawl space. If you have an old or faulty sump pump, beware – the last thing you want is your sump pump to fail at a time when you need it most. Check to see if your sump pump is in working order. If not, get a new one installed as soon as you can.
Make sure the gutters and downspouts are clear of debris.
Remove any ice or snow from the bottom of your downspouts to ensure that once the snow melts, it will be channeled away from your foundation. Any blockage can cause severe damage to the structure and aesthetics of your home. Check for cracks, a defective fascia bracket or disconnected joints. Proper drainage can make all the difference.
Shovel snow away from your home’s foundation.
Snow packed up against the foundation increases your chances of ending up with a wet basement or crawl space – not exactly the indoor swimming pool you’ve been dreaming about. Snow melt can seep into your house and cause quite a mess. Water leaking into your basement after heavy rain or snow melt may very well ruin your personal items or furniture. Take the necessary precautions to safeguard your belongings and most importantly, your home.
Call a reputable basement waterproofing company to inspect the area(s) you’re concerned about.
A waterproofing contractor with the proper training and experience can evaluate your wet basement or damp crawl space and recommend the appropriate solution. It’s best to seek the services of a licensed foundation repair company because they have the expertise necessary to evaluate your home from the ground up and introduce a permanent fix.
Being proactive about home repairs is a short- and long-term strategy that preserves your house, saves you money and reduces stress. A nuisance can easily become a nightmare. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to take action. Following these four tips to protect your basement or crawl space after heavy rain or snow melt will help keep your house intact all winter.