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How to Prevent Basement Flooding During the Spring Thaw?

When most people think about flooding, they think about bodies of water overflowing after a heavy rainstorm. However, floods can occur due to other reasons, including spring thaw flooding. Spring thaw basement flooding can damage your home as snow melts, piles around your home, and seeps into your foundation. If you value your home and belongings, you should begin to prevent basement floods caused by spring thaw now. Here are some tips!

spring thaw water in basement


Spring Thaw and Flooding

There are four main spring-related causes of basement floods. Check out the list below for an explanation of each.

1. Spring Thaw

Spring thaw occurs when snow from around your home melts and has no proper channel to be drawn away from your foundation. In this case, the heavy amount of water can seep into the foundation or cracks in the basement walls, causing a flood.

2. Spring Rain

Several inches of precipitation from a spring storm can pile up quickly. These heavy rains can cause flooding by oversaturating the ground, overflowing rains, and causing rivers to rise over their banks or levees.

3. Flash Floods

This rapid flooding of low-lying areas occurs within six hours and is caused by intense rainfall from a storm, or several consecutive ones. Flash floods also happen when there are drought-like conditions.

4. Overtopping

There are many levees and dams designed to protect against intense levels of flooding, but when these structures erode or weaken with time, they can be overtopped and fall, causing larger floods.

Problems Caused by Spring Thaw

Roof Water Runoff

Warmer temperatures melt the snow from around your home, producing a large amount of runoff in a short period of time. Since each area of compacted snow contains gallons of water, this water can seep in your foundation and into the ground, causing a basement flood.

Water Drainage Issues

If your home’s drainage system is old or poorly installed, excess water can build up around near your foundation. If your landscaping includes bushes and trees with roots that have cracked your foundation, the changing temperatures can cause the soil to retract. This leaves space for water to gather and sink in. Water from melting snow may also get in through window wells. All of these should be considered at this time of year. You can get proactive and request an inspection from your local flood damage restoration company.

Foundation and Wall Cracking

If you have drywall in your basement, it may be harder to notice cracks in your walls and foundation. However, a professional inspector will be able to access the crawlspace and any unfinished areas to assess the situation. If water is found to be seeping through the foundation and/or wall cracks, this damage will need to be repaired by the professionals.

Sump Pump Failure

You should do an annual check on your sump pump to make sure it is in good, working order. If it is failing, water may not be pumped far enough away from your home. This is very important if you have a basement or crawl space, as you will need a trusted way to remove this water, such as a sump pump.

Mould Growth

Mould growth isn’t just an ugly sight; these spores can spread and attach to other surfaces, seeking moisture to grow more. Dealing with mould as soon as possible is imperative to making your home safe after water damage. If you notice a foul, musty smell along with mould growing in your home, seek professional help immediately.

Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding Due to Spring Thaw

Regrade the Yard

If water is running back towards your home’s foundation after it leaves the downspouts, you should regrade your yard. You can do this by filling in any holes and low areas so that your yard slopes away from your foundation. You can also install a French drain if you cannot sufficiently regrade your yard.

Inspect the Drainage System

Although all modern homes are built with water drainage, if the water has nowhere to go, it will back up into the house. You should check the nearby flood drains to see if there are any blockages. You should also check any for drains you have indoors–those located in the garage or laundry room, for example. If your home has rooftop drains, don’t forget to inspect them too.

Check the Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts prevent water from collecting on the roof and direct it away from your home’s foundation. Although you should check them a few times a year, most blockages occur after autumn and winter. Inspect for any fallen leaves, twigs, ice chunks, and snow, which can cause water to build up and seep into your home.

Fix Leaky Pipes

If you have any cracked, broken, or loose pipes, they will allow water to flow into your basement. Clogged pipes are also another reason why they may not be working properly. You should check for blockage, and if there is any debris or other matter, have it removed.

Test Functioning of Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump at home, make sure the intake valve is clear and that the pump is working as it should. You can test this yourself by removing the lid, pouring water into the crock, and making sure the device begins pumping.

Check Septic Tanks

To prevent any problems, have your septic tank inspected. If you have any debris or trash piling up in the system, have it cleaned out or replaced.

Set Up a Water Alarm

This may not be something that comes to mind at first, but if you install a water alarm, it will be very beneficial to you. These alarms work similarly to a fire alarm, letting you know immediately when unwanted water is found in your home. This allows you to inspect and resolve the issue before the damage goes out of control.

Add a Backflow Valve

Installing a backwater valve can prevent water from backing up through your pipes and into your basement. This valve also separates your home from the sewer when water backs up.

Contact Us for Basement Flooding Cleanup in Brampton

If you need help for flooded basement cleanup in Brampton or if you want advice for how you can get proactive and prevent it from happening to your home, Flood Services Canada can help you. Our professionals can provide you with solutions after spring thaw water basement damage to your home, as well as help you settle with your insurance company. We deploy our quick response teams across Toronto, Oakville, Ajax, Whitby, Georgina, Barrie, Mississauga, and Lakeshore to help homeowners in a tough situation. We’re ready to provide 24/7 sewage, water damage, and food cleanup services and will use the best techniques, personnel, and technology to ensure your home or business is clean, safe, and dry as soon as possible. Contact us at (416) 302-2107 to learn more about our water damage cleanup services, or use our emergency hotline at (416) 999-3930 to get our rapid response teams deployed to your location.

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Chad Vanvari

Chad Vanvari has over 20 years of experience as a cleaning & restoration professional. He started out in Montreal, establishing a commercial carpet cleaning company in the early 1990’s. By 2001, Chad had relocated to Toronto and now had extensive knowledge and experience in responding to fire/water related emergencies. He has been instrumental in the cleanup of several catastrophic floods. Currently, Chad is the president and owner of Flood Services Canada, a 24/7 emergency service restoration company.