How to Prevent Flooding from Melting Snow

When the weather begins to warm, snow and ice begin to thaw and eventually melt. As a rule of thumb, every 10 inches of snow melts into an inch of water. Across an acre of land, that single inch adds up to more than 27,000 gallons of water. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why snowmelt runoff often leads to basement flooding.

How Does Snow Melt Cause Flooding

Throughout the winter, the ground typically freezes solid. As spring rolls around, rapid snowmelt generates an abundance of water that might normally seep through the soil into the ground water. However, the still frozen ground prevents the water from draining properly. As a result, the snow melt flows wherever it can, even if that happens to be inside your home.

How to Prevent Flooding from Snow

Flood damage can be devastating to a home. It creates a perfect environment for mold growth and can even lead to structural damage to the house. But these simple tricks can help to prevent flooding and water damage from snow melt.

  1. Remove the Snow

The most effective way to prevent flooding from snow is to remove the snow. That doesn’t mean that you have to haul all of it off of your property. Instead, shovel a 5 foot border around the perimeter of your home. And if possible, remove the snow that settles on your roof.

  1. Clear Gutters and Downspouts

If you aren’t able to clear the snow off your roof, it’s essential to give that snow a place to go when it melts. So in the months leading up to winter, make sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts. You should also make sure that the downspouts bring the melt as far away from your home as possible, ideally twenty feet or more.

  1. Ensure Soil Slopes Away from Your Foundation

Creating even a gradual slope to the ground leading away from your home allows the snow melt to flow freely away from your home.

  1. Seal Cracks in Your Foundation

Inspect the inside and outside of your foundation for cracks. If you find any, close them up to prevent water from seeping through. Although the porous nature of concrete can still let small amounts of water through, sealing foundation cracks will go a long way toward preventing flooding from snow.

These four simple tricks to prevent flooding from melting snow could wind up saving your home from disaster. If water does start to seep into your home, sandless sandbags are a perfect way to contain the damage. These alternatives to sandbags are just as effective as a bulky bag of sand and they’re far easier to store and deploy.