Are we there yet? Have we reached the end of winter weather in our daily forecasts? Well, maybe not completely, but we are certainly getting close – and that means we have been beginning to experience the winter thaw! As nice as it is to see the sun and enjoy warmer temperatures, given the large amount of snow and ice surrounding and topping our previously frigid homes, there are certain things we need to consider to avoid potential damage during the thaw.
Advanced preparation for winter – such as having ensured our windows were weather-stripped and walls properly insulated – should have helped to keep our homes (and pipes) as warm as possible. Having made sure our gutters were clear of autumn leaves should have given the melting snow a clear path for drainage.
Of course, no matter how much we tried to prepare in advance, there has been a lot (I repeat, A LOT) of snow and ice this winter. Even if we kept up with precautionary removal around our homes throughout all of these storms, there is a lot of water that will be searching for a place to go as temperatures warm. A few tips for keeping one step ahead of potential problems with your foundation include:
- Clearing snow from an approximate 5-ft. area around your foundation.
- Inspecting your foundation for cracks and properly sealing any that you may find.
- Making sure gutters are clear of debris and downspouts are directed well away from your foundation.
- If you have a sump pump, making sure that it is working properly
The heavy amount of snow on our rooftops can also become problematic as begins to melt. If the snow continues a cycle of melting and refreezing, ice can dam up and cause water to sit in pools which may then leak into the attic or along exterior walls. Given that it is difficult for most of us to remove snow from our rooftops safely, staying vigilant for signs of condensation and leaks – such as extensive creaking or sagging/water-stained ceilings – is important to stay ahead of major damage. Additional prevention tips and advice about this may be found here
Potentially frozen pipes also merit consideration during the big thaw. The American Red Cross offers extensive advice for proper thawing (and future prevention) should this be an issue in your home
Taking a little extra time now to best prepare our homes to thaw out safely and without damage is clearly important. Remember we are always here to address any of your concerns about coverage. And let’s all continue to “Think Spring!”