Preparing Your Home for the Spring Thaw
Spring's around the corner, which means the spring thaw is, too. Take a look at these tips on how to get your home spring-ready!
Ah, warmer weather, longer days – what’s not to love about spring? Most Canadians are more than happy to say farewell to the dark and cold days of winter; and not to be a downer – but as you’re preparing to welcome spring with open arms, you’ll also need to think about the annual spring thaw.
Homeowners across the country, and especially those in heavy snowfall areas, are gearing up to prepare their homes for the inevitable thaw. Take a look at these tips to ensure you get your home spring-ready!
Clear snow away from your home
As it starts to warm up outside, you may notice mounds of snow around your home. Be sure to clear it away: any snow that stays packed up around your house or covers your drains can seep into the ground, and around the foundation of your home when it melts. Seepage can lead to leaks, and leaks and become floods, so it’s important to make sure that the foundation of your home stays clear of melting ice and snow!
Clean your gutters
Snow, ice and other debris can gather in your gutters over the season. If you don’t clear it out before everything begins to thaw, the debris caught in there could slow the flow of water and cause it to build up in certain areas.
Puddles of water can seep their way into your home causing water damage to the structure, or to your items inside. It’s imperative that your gutters are clear of all debris so that the water from melting ice and snow can drain quickly, instead of sitting stagnant and possibly causing a leak.
Inspect your sump pump
A properly functioning sump pump is another key to making sure your home stays dry during the spring thaw. Once you make sure yours is up and running, think about adding a back-up battery to ensure you’re covered in the event of an electricity outage.
Install backflow valves
To prevent water damage to your home, consider installing backflow valves – they’re key to protecting your basement from flooding during a time when there’s a lot of water, like during the spring melt.
Backwater valves enable a one-way flow from your home’s sewer line. As soon as the valve detects backflow it’ll close right up, and keep your basement safe. It’s good to note that these valves can’t protect backflow that comes from inside your home, like a clogged bathroom drain.
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Inspect your home’s foundation
Now’s as good of a time as any to inspect your home’s foundation for cracks and inconsistencies. If you notice and visible cracks, find a professional to repair it as soon as possible. Those who specialize in foundation repairs can usually waterproof your home as well.
Check your roof and attic
Snow and ice will build up on your roof every winter, but there’s the real chance of a leak when spring comes around. Keep an eye on your attic for any sign of a leak – a small leak could become a big problem if you don’t catch it soon enough.
Prepare for the worst
Even if you’ve taken every precautionary measure possible, there’s sometimes a leak or flood Clear out your basement of any valuables, and store them somewhere water can’t get to them. Unplug any appliances that could come into contact with water, should your basement flood. If you have any large items or appliances that can’t be moved away, try elevating them so that they’re not sitting flat on the ground; this will help protect them from any water that seeps in.
With all that said, don’t let the threat of the spring thaw dampen your excitement. With a few simple preventative measures to protect your home, you’ll be ready to take on spring – and all that comes with it.