Winter of 2014 has been one for the record books. Record breaking snow falls have blanketed much of the country from the north to the north east and even as far down as Georgia.
All of that snow does more than create traffic accidents and driving problems. It can actually lead to foundation cracking and flooding in your basement and crawl space.
The snow that is in your yard melts and the water penetrates the ground. When there is more water than the ground around your home can handle, the soil expands and puts pressure on the walls of your foundation or basement. This pressure leads to cracks and flooding.
Also, the snow on the roof melts and flows down your gutters. If the downspouts aren’t extended far enough, that water teams up with the melted snow in the yard, creating even more pressure on the walls of your foundation.
This all leads to expensive repairs, damaged furniture, floors and things stored in the basement or crawl space.
Luckily, there are 3 ways to stop the damage before it starts:
1. Extend Your Downspouts
This is necessary in all seasons because rain water also needs to be moved away from the home.
If your gutters simply empty into the ground or your downspouts are short, it will contribute to water problems. Even some extension that are two feet long aren’t ideal. It helps, but, your best bet is to get downspouts that extend several feet from the house.
Some companies sell a “hose” like downspout that can be rolled up when it’s not raining and will unroll as water enters the tube.
2. Get the Snow Away From Your House & Install Drainage
You don’t have to shovel your entire yard, but if you can shovel the snow away from the first few feet from the foundation, you’ll do yourself a great service. This is, again, about helping the ground around your home deal with excessive water and keep pressure to a minimum.
If your yard floods after the snow melts or when you get heavy rains, you might want to have a professional install an outdoor drain. This will get the water away from your foundation, and if disaster strikes (like a hurricane), you’ll keep your entire home from flooding.
3. Get Professional Foundation Help
If your basement has already flooded in the past, you may want to seek out the help of a pro. They’ll be able to fix the problem at it’s source, fix any cracks and “waterproof” the outside walls of your basement, which is very important for keeping your home dry all year round.
This alone can prevent many water and flooding problems.