Basement Flooding from Melting Snow?
Everyone loves Spring. The snow is gone, the weather is warming and the days are longer. What is not to like, right? There is one thing. Melting snow. Not only does melting snow cause you to wash your car on a regular basis, it can also cause you a big headache with a flooded basement. A flooded basement is not only stressful; it can be a financial hit during the Spring season.
It may seem like preventing snow from getting into your basement is a losing battle. After all, how do you keep something that falls for months on end, from melting and getting into your basement. No matter what you do, it always seems to find a way.
When water gets in your basement, the damage is more than just ruined furniture and photo albums.
One of the worst, and most common, consequences from melting snow in the basement is black mold. Black mold can cause a number of health problems in humans and pets. It doesn’t take long for the mold to grow either. Roughly 48 hours, depending on the moisture level and temperature of the basement, is all mold needs to begin growing and causing you a severe financial headache. You can’t sell your house if it has had black mold that was never dealt with and removing the mold can be costly. Always make sure a professional fixes your mold problem. If you do it yourself, and don’t do it right, the mold will just keep coming back.
Mold is bad, but structural problems are worse. When water gets into your basement, it is coming through the walls. As it comes through the walls, it causes more and more problems with your structural integrity as the water eats away at the concrete and other materials. A wet wall can weaken and even cause a part of a wall to collapse. If that happens, the financial cost is immense, and your home cannot be lived in until it is fixed. If there is moisture in your walls, you cannot ignore it. It has to be dealt with or you may find your house suddenly leaning. It is a problem that will only get worse.
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can begin to protect your basement. These are tips for both during the winter, and throughout the rest of the year.
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Clear It Out
The most obvious tip is a simple, but time consuming one. Throughout the winter, you should clear snow away from the house. You are already clearing snow from the driveway and sidewalk, so why not spend a little extra time and clear out some snow from around the house. The area should be about four to six feet, from the outside wall of your house into the yard. The problem is that during the winter, the snow falls and the wind patterns cause more snow to pile up, right next to your house. When it melts, it has nowhere to go but down and that can mean down into your foundation and out into your basement. It is a bit of extra work in the cold, but it can mean a lot less of a headache in the Spring.
Seal It Up
How does water get into your basement? It doesn’t come in through the front door, it comes in through cracks in the walls and foundation. No matter how much you clear away the snow, if your house is in a depression, the water is going to flow towards it. This is why it is so important that you seal up the cracks in the basement. These cracks are the open door for melting water. The cracks will be obvious to you, and they can range from small to large cracks. Depending on the size of the crack, it can also be very easy to fix. All it takes is a trip down to the store where you can get an epoxy sealer. All you have to do at this point is seal up the cracks.
While sealing cracks can turn a torrent of water into a slow trickle, it is not going to stop all the water from coming in. Concrete is not solid, it has a lot of porous spaces in it and water can seep through there at times. This is why these tips are not a one or nothing approach. Doing several at once is the best way to ensure your basement does not flood.
If you don’t have a sump pump, get one. If you have a sump pump, have it tested to make sure it is actually working. A sump pump is a simple system that involves taking water from the basement and pumping it outside and away from the house. It prevents you from having to pump out the water yourself and it ensure no water stays in the house and collects, causing even more problems for you.
These tips can prevent the horrible consequences you will see from snow melting and flooding your basement. Remember, try at least two of these if you can, but go for all three to get a complete approach to keeping your basement dry.
If you have had flooding, you can get rid of the water and prevent the mold and structural problems before they cripple you financially.
The first thing to do is to have a professional extract the water out of the basement. You can’t do anything until that happens and a good professional can have all the water out within a few hours. Once the water is out, the work of keeping the basement dry and free of mold begins.
The drying part of the job is one of the most important. The moisture in the basement must be removed or it will turn to mold. This is done with several different kinds of equipment including humidifiers. A professional will also take moisture readings in the basement to ensure that the levels are low and the risk of mold is negligible. Typically, a basement can be bone dry within a few days, but this depends on what got wet and how badly the flooding was.