Tips To Prepare Your Home For The Spring Thaw and Flooding
It’s been a long winter, but spring is just around the corner! That’s great news if you’ve had a case of cabin fever during the cold months – but while you prepare yourself and your family for sunny activities, you also need to take some time to prepare your home for the transition. A lot of things are happening inside and outside your house and if you’re not ready for the change in temperatures, you might end up with more on your to-do list and more bills. So here are some helpful tips to prepare your home for the spring thaw and flooding!
- Protect against water damage outside
- Check your outdoor gutters and drains to make sure they’re not clogged, and also ensure that there’s a clear path for melting snow and ice to flow away from your home. You don’t want puddles of water collecting by your foundation or crawl space because they can lead to water damage issues and huge repair bills. Ideally, try to channel the water toward the parts of your garden that will need the most water, or into a water reservoir that you can use instead of your spigot once the thaw is complete.
- Check any water pumps in your outdoor ponds or fountains to verify they are still working.
- Look for any leaks in your outdoor plumbing lines to avoid any issues when you turn the water back on.
- Clear away any debris from drains by the road to make sure that water from your yard can end up in the sewer and not standing in pools on your lawn.
- Spread out any remaining snow piles so they will melt evenly across your lawn and garden.
- Give your home a thorough inspection, inside and out .
- Your furnace and hot water tank have been going all winter long, so before you forget about them all spring and summer, do a quick preventive maintenance check to ensure there aren’t any leaks or loose connections.
- Climb up in your attic with a flashlight, respiratory mask, gloves and eye protection. Take a good look around and make sure there isn’t any water damage from leaks in the roof, any appliances in the attic, or other condensation spots that may have developed over the winter when warm air may have gotten into the cooler attic.
- Do a careful walk-around of your home’s exterior and see if there are any spots where ice has caused damage to your gutters, roof and siding. Even concrete paths can shift and crack due to the winter freeze.
- Check your sump pump to make sure it’s functioning properly.
- Don’t remove insulation from any exterior pipes until temperatures overnight are consistently above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This will minimize the chance that an unexpected cold snap will cause a worst-case scenario
- Update your emergency kit and create a flood evacuation plan
- Especially if you live in a low-lying area, it’s important to have a plan in place for what to do in case of a flooding emergency. Make sure that your family members know what you’ll do if this situation happens, and where all the important supplies are located. It’s wise to keep your emergency supply storage and a copy of your plan easily accessible and visible, like on your garage shelves. That way, you won’t have to waste time digging around for what you need and you can evacuate more quickly.
- If you don’t have flood insurance on your homeowners policy, consider talking to your insurance company about the costs and benefits associated with this kind of plan. Don’t assume that your policy has this coverage! That could be a very costly mistake.
- If your home has a lower level, you can minimize your risk of loss due to flooding by moving valuable possessions to the higher levels of your home. Of course, many of us love to use the basement for storage, so if you have to keep items down there, put them on pallets or shelves that will keep them off the floor.
More info? To learn more on protecting your home from water damage, read one of our other posts: BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT PROPERTY WATER FLOOD DAMAGE