If you’re a lifelong Ohio resident, you know that if you want to prepare your home for the snow, you really should start early. Seriously. There’s already snow flurries in the weather forecast. So, what if we get a bunch of snow and that snow melts quicker than expected? It can flood your basement. Winter is brutal on your home. So, we wanted to give you a review of how to keep your basement dry this winter.
Clean Your Downspouts and Gutters
It’s the job of gutters and downspouts to channel water away from our homes. Collected leaves in your gutters can potentially clog them. Water needs to be able to run through them otherwise, you’ll have to deal with ice dams later. Ice dams can harm your home’s roof and repairing ice dam damage is costly. Additionally, if your gutters are broken or have leaks, they won’t work properly. If water isn’t being channeled away from your house, it will find its way INTO your house. If your gutters need repair, get them fixed as soon as possible. If necessary, consider adding extensions to downspouts if you haven’t already done so.
Create Proper Drainage
Check the drains inside your home for any debris that could clog them. By cleaning the drains regularly, you can prevent unexpected flooding. It’s also important to keep snow away from outdoor storm drains. Another thing you can do to prevent basement flooding is to improve your landscaping. Fix any slopes in your yard, which can unintentionally direct water toward your home. Generally, greenery should be at least a few feet from your home, or else they’ll trap in superfluous moisture that can leak into your home.
Don’t turn off your dehumidifiers when summer ends. Condensation can still form on pipes. That moisture makes your home muggy. Winter may be cold and (at times) harsh, but this doesn’t mean that your home can’t become hot and sticky—you still must actively prevent humidity.
Check Your Sump Pump
A sump pump is one of the most effective ways to remove water from your basement. It’s essential to check if your sump pump works before winter begins. It’s also important to keep it clean. If your sump pump clogs before a heavy snowstorm, it’s unlikely that it’ll be able to redirect the melted snow away from your foundation. Lastly, remember to inspect your sump pump’s discharge hose and pipe. These sump pump accessories may freeze and become unusable. Remove the discharge hose before the cold strikes and keep an eye on the discharge pipe.
Fill in Foundation Cracks
Melted snow can trickle into your basement through cracks in your foundation. To keep this moisture from leaking indoors, seal any openings before the first snowfall. If moisture gets into your basement and sits for too long, you may eventually have water damage on your walls, floor, and or/ceiling. You may even encounter mold if you don’t fill the cracks quickly enough.
Insulate Your Basement
Don’t want wind blowing through your home? Insulation does a great job at sealing any openings. As a bonus, insulation helps your living space stay warm—in other words, you and your family won’t have to live with chilly drafts. If you haven’t already properly insulated your basement, be sure to do so sooner rather than later. Insulate around pipes, too—that way, they won’t burst from the freezing temperatures and cause damage to your home.
Shovel Snow ASAP
As tempting as it is to leave mounds of snow against your home, those piles are dangerous to your home. When piled up snow melts, it’s more than likely going to end up finding its way into your home. Even though you probably want to stay bundled up indoors after a ton of snow falls, you should prioritize shoveling it right away. If you have a deck or patio, don’t forget to shovel it as well. Once the snow melts, the moisture still has the potential to be problematic.