How do I prevent the snow melt from entering my basement?

While most homeowners are aware of the dangers of water seeping into  their basement and go to great lengths to prevent it, it’s difficult to  stop the water resulting from melting snow. As we started to take a look  at the past few winters and the work performed, we noticed how many  were customers calling in with water in their basement and no idea how  it got there. In most cases, it was snow melt leaking through the  foundation.

If it’s the case you have a wet basement and no visible sign of a  pipe leak or home appliance malfunction, and your area has sustained  heavy snowstorms recently, you could be looking at flooded basement due  to snow melt.  If that is the case, it should be treated like any other  flooding basement from the perspective of a water restoration company.

The same way you keep rain water out of your basement…keep it away from  your foundation! 1 cubic foot of snow produces around 3/4 gallon of  water. If you have a couple of feet of snow piling up against your  foundation, you’ve got a ticking time bomb that will result in a flooded  basement if not dealt with. So how do you make sure the melting snow  doesn’t end up in your basement?


1. Clear a 5 foot area around your foundation

So  you just spent 30 minutes clearing your front entryway, walkway and  driveway…congrats! Unfortunately, your job isn’t done! While those areas  allow you to get in and out of your home more easily, the dangerous  snow (in terms of basement flooding) is everything stacked up next to  your home. So grab your shovel or fire up your snow thrower again and  start clearing the area around your home of all snow.

2. Test your sump pump to make sure it’s working

Do you have a sump pump? If not, it’s time to get one, especially if  your basement is finished. Insurance policies don’t cover water damage  caused by outside water sources, so if your basement floods from  snowmelt, you’ll be paying out of pocket for the cost to repair the  damage.

If you do have a sump pump, it’s important to make sure it’s working!  Too many times sump pumps sit idle for months on end and when it’s  finally time for them to do their jobs, they don’t work. Click here to review a good step-by-step guide to testing your sump pump to ensure it works when you need it most.

3. Fix any cracks in your foundation walls

Do  you have sizable cracks in your basement walls? If so, those are the  perfect pathways for water to enter. You can always buy an epoxy or  sealing kit from a local hardware store for a few dollars to seal up  these cracks. But bear in mind, even if you have no cracks in your  foundation, concrete is porous! That means if enough water rests outside  the walls, the water will eventually seep through the concrete and into  your basement.

What if it’s too late & you already have water in your basement?

Like any other moisture issue, it’s always in your best interest to call a basement flood cleanup company. Why? Because moisture issues that aren’t properly contained and mitigated can lead to the following problems:

Structural damage

What  usually happens when people ignore a small amount of water in their  basement, or choose to just mop it up and leave it be, is the walls  remain wet. This is dangerous for a number of reason, most notably,  because a wet wall can weaken overtime and collapse. The wall can  literally crumble to pieces. That’s obviously not a good thing,  especially since it is the foundational support system for the entire  house. If moisture got into your basement and it came through your  foundation walls, you simply can not ignore the excess moisture in the  walls. It must be removed or you run the risk of having some serious  foundational issues in the future.

Black mold growth

Any  type of basement water damage can (and will) result in toxic mold if  not dealt with immediately. How long is ‘immediately’? Well, when it  comes to mold growth after a moisture problem, you usually have about 48  hours, give or take a couple of days depending on the temperature and  relative humidity in the room. That doesn’t leave you much time to  address the moisture problem. And the reality is there’s simply too much  that can wrong during the drying process if not done by professionals.  That’s why you should never take chances and always call a certified  basement flood mitigation contractor like us!


Basement water extraction

First, we would get the water out using a variety of different basement water extraction systems.  Within a couple of hours, we can have the majority of the water out of your basement.

But despite great equipment and the proper techniques, it takes more  work to get out the remaining moisture, whether they’ve found their way  into your foundation walls, floors, or carpets.

Hopefully we can get the water out before any structural damage occurs!


Drying out the basement

To get out the remaining moisture, it must be evaporated using  powerful drying equipment and dehumidifiers.  The drying equipment or  air movers (what you would probably call a fan) that pass hot, dry air  throughout the affected area.  We take moisture content readings  throughout the basement to know what is wet and then place our equipment  in a way that maximizes their drying ability.

Typical dry times are just under 4 days, but so much of it depends  upon the type of materials that have gotten wet and the amount of area  that needs to be dried.  Our technicians return each day to take  readings of the environment as well as the moisture levels of the areas  we’re working to dry out.  We can then adjust our drying plans according  to the effectiveness of the equipment.

What if the water came through my foundation?

In most cases, a basement will flood due to something malfunctioning  inside the basement.  But when it comes to snow melt, the reality is  that if enough water pools in the moisture around your basement, it’s  going to find a way into your home.  Even concrete walls are porous and  you would be shocked at how much water can pass through them given the  opportunity.

If that’s what has happened to you, your best option is to call a  basement waterproofing company.  These companies specialize in creating  waterproof systems that can be applied either inside or outside the  basement walls and they can effectively stop the moisture from entering  the basement.

This article originally appeared on

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *