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How to Prevent Snow Melt Problems

Snow melting on grassWith spring just around the corner, the winter’s snow is beginning to melt. While enjoying the increase in temperature, you should take precautions to protect your property against the damage that snowmelt can cause. Depending on how much snow your area received over the winter, you might be facing some trouble as temperatures increase. Here are some issues that can result from snowmelt and tips on how to avoid them.


The most common problem caused by snowmelt is flooding. Each cubic foot of snow is estimated to contain up to three gallons of water. That means that just 500 cubic feet of snow could quickly turn into 1,500 gallons of water on your property. This amount of water in a short period of time can begin causing problems immediately. With this volume of water seeping into the ground, it can quickly leak into the lower level or basement of your property. To avoid this potential issue, follow this checklist after a big snow storm or before the temperatures heat up:

  • Move the snow. Be sure to move snow away from the foundation of your home or business. If the ground near the foundation is sloped, moving snow just three feet away can help significantly.
  • Check your sump pump. Making sure your sump pump is clean and in working condition can be a basement saver. Test it out by pouring water into the pit. Ensure that the discharge hose carries the water several feet away from Ice dams melting causing floodingthe property to a well-drained spot. Also, if temps are still low, make put the pipe on sloped ground to increase drainage and prevent freezing. If your pump isn’t working properly, be sure to call in a contractor before spring hits.
  • Check your gutters. This is a year-round tip, but it’s especially crucial after a big snow storm or when spring is on its way. The function of your gutters is to divert water in an efficient way away from your home or business. If gutters are clogged and water flows over them, it can hit the ground relatively forcefully right near the foundation. This is a breeding ground for a wet basement.

Ice Dams

Another issue that can be caused by snowmelt during the late winter or early spring months is ice damming. An ice dam forms when snow on your roof begins to melt then refreezes as a blockage of ice on the edge of the roof. This built-up ice prevents additional melting snow from draining properly and causes it to back up on the roof. When that water has nowhere to go, it can leak into your roof and cause serious damage. The best way to stay ahead of ice damming damage is to prevent it by getting the snow off your roof. But, if an ice dam has already formed you still have some options. Here are some tips on removing snow or ice dams:

  • If you live in a particularly snowy climate, it pays to invest in a roof rake. Though they aren’t that expensive, they can be integral in preventing leaks and damage. You can safely stand on the ground and rake the snow off your roof after a big storm.
  • Ice melt. If an ice dam has already formed, getting it melted quickly is key. Try filling a pair of old pantyhose with a calcium chloride ice melter and throwing it up on the roof where the ice dam has formed.

If you find yourself in a situation with water damage, we can help. Our experienced team of professionals is dedicated to restoring your life and your property after a disaster. Contact us today to learn more!