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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!

by Team Onlia

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.

Canadian homeowners, 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 become floods, so it’s important to ensure that your home's foundation 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 water flow 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 your items inside. Your gutters must be 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 ensure your home stays dry during the spring thaw. Once you make sure yours is running, think about adding a backup battery 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 any visible cracks, find a professional to repair them 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 a 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.

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