How to stop your property from flooding when the snow melts

Here in Ontario, we’re all familiar with cold, snow-heavy winters. Over time the buildup of snow can cover our yards and create massive drifts leaning up against the exterior walls of our homes.

While this may help to insulate us from subzero temperatures it can also cause serious flooding as all that snow melts in the early stages of spring. With a little foresight and prevention, you can avoid flooding in your home.

Flooding Damage

Before we get into prevention it’s important to know what the negatives are if flooding does occur:

  • water damage to furniture and floors
  • warped wood and floorboards
  • clogged drains
  • mold buildup
  • electrical issues
  • insurance claims and premium increases
  • etc.

The losses you can experience could even go beyond simple costs. Most families store photo albums, heirlooms, and priceless memories in their basements. Flood waters will find those keepsakes and destroy them if you’re not careful.

The time and money needed to clean up after a flood far outweighs the effort needed to stop the problem before it starts.

Tips to Prevent Flooding in Spring

Use these tips to keep help prevent flooding in your Ontario home. The majority of snowmelt happens in March and early April so pay attention to weather forecasts and get out ahead of the warmer weather.

Many of these tips will require heavy lifting or vigorous activity. Try spreading out the workload into stages or asking for help to avoid injuries.

  1. Shovel snow away from your foundation paying special attention to ground level windows and doors
  2. Clear drainage areas around your home of snow so water, if it does get in, can get back out
  3. Check for leaks in the walls, windows, and foundation of your home. Repair any cracks you find to keep the water out
  4. In warmer months inspect the grade around your house. Make adjustments when necessary to ensure that the ground slopes away from the foundation of your home
  5. Keep shoveled snow from your driveway and yard on your own property. Street drains need to stay open to do their job properly. The same principle applies to community catch basins
  6. Check the garden beds around your home and make sure they don’t create dams that retain water, forcing it towards your home. Extra garden soil may be required to fix this problem
  7. Inspect your roof and eavestroughs for ice and snow buildup. If you can’t safely do it yourself consider hiring a professional to do the work for you
  8. Remove snow and ice from the areas where your downspouts are and extend them by 2 metres or more to ensure excess water drains away from your home’s foundation
  9. If conditions are particularly bad and flooding seems like a real possibility employ sandbags around the foundation of your house to provide an additional defensive layer of protection
  10. If all else fails, get a water pump of appropriate size and start redirecting water toward gutters and street drains.

As with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take the appropriate steps to protect your home this spring.

For professional help water-proofing your home contact Van Beek’s Garden Supplies