With much of the country still covered in snow after another severe winter, it’s only a matter of time before this snow begins to thaw. And for countless homeowners living across the Northeast and Midwest, this much snow melt could threaten their health and the condition of their homes’ foundations.
According to a March 3 Boston Globe article, this year’s spring thaw could create two potential scenarios. In the best-case scenario, temperatures will rise by a small amount each day before dropping below freezing at night, gradually melting away the snow. In the worst-case scenario, temperatures rise quickly and combine with regular rainfall to create a true flooding catastrophe.
When water floods into a basement, it significantly damages the home’s foundation, weakening the dwelling’s overall structural integrity. In addition, a basement flood can allow mold to start growing in as little as 24 to 48 hours, causing a major health hazard for the home’s residents.
“We always recommend homeowners check their discharge lines to ensure they are clear so water can flow freely,” says Austin Werner, Owner, The Real Seal, LLC. “These lines can settle or freeze and cause water to be deposited next to the home to continually circulate. This will cause basement flooding and unnecessary stress. “
In addition to the aforementioned steps, homeowners should check to make sure they have a separate flood insurance policy in place this spring, especially if one’s home is located in an area prone to flooding. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding damage.
Flood insurance can be purchased from the National Flood Insurance Program — and this extra cost will undoubtedly save you tens of thousands of dollars in damage caused by flooding in your basement. It’s also possible to purchase flood insurance for the contents of your basement. Just be aware that it typically takes 30 days from the date of purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect, so it’s especially important to seek out this extra coverage now.
When the right preventive measures are taken, the annual springtime snow thaw can be a flood- and anxiety-free time of the year.