After the snow and deep freeze we experienced over the last few days, we may be in for another major winter headache-melting snow carries risk of flooded basements. This is referred to as thaw flooding.
Slow Melt vs. Fast Melt
During a slow melt when temperatures are milder during the day and return to freezing at night, the water has a chance to drain. However, during a fast melt, which is an extended period of above freezing temperatures coupled with rain, thaw flooding can occur. Thaw flooding can have serious impacts to your home and personal belongings.
The First General team recommends these tips for preparing for thaw flooding:
- Clear debris from storm drains to ensure water can easily and freely flow away from your home
- Check your homeowners insurance policy. Flooding events are NOT covered by standard homeowners insurance and require a separate policy. All flood insurance requires a 30 day wait period before actual coverage begins. Although adding the extra insurance will not help you with the current thaw flooding, it still may be worth looking into for future events
- If you have a sump pump in your basement, ensure it is in good working condition and clear of debris. If you do not have a sump pump, consider installing one in the lowest point of the basement. Water will naturally flow to the lowest point and pool which will cause flooding if it is not quickly removed. A sump pump pushes water from the basement outside of the house through a drainage pipe
- Move items in your basement that potentially could be damaged in advance of thaw flooding. It is also a good idea to have an inventory list of all contents in your basement for insurance purposes in case you do experience a loss. This will help move the claims process along quickly
- Move as much piled up snow as possible away from your home. As a point of reference-a 20 foot diameter, 10 foot high pile of snow contains approximately 2,600 gallons of water, according. This can cause quick and severe damage during thaw flooding
These tips can help you prepare your property for basement flooding. For additional information, visit https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/2018-01-10-january-thaw-brings-concerns-ice-jams-melting-snow-flooding.
If you do experience flooding in your basement, the First General team is available to assist with the emergency cleanup. Visit our page for more information: https://firstgeneralservice.com/water-damage-services.