Posted on: 24 February 2015Share
Record snow may cause a lot of winter headaches, but that may be nothing compared to the spring thaw. From Boston to Nebraska, mountains of accumulated snow mean eventual rivers of melted water. But what's a poor homeowner to do? Must you simply wait for the weather to destroy your basement and other low lying rooms, or is there an actionable defense you can employ? Here are seven ways to get ready for the inevitable mess that's coming your way:
Watch Specific Forecasts
While you do want to keep tabs on the regular weather reports that will keep you up to date with anticipated precipitation, you may also want to watch hydrological predictions. These are reports compiled by experts which take into account a number of relative factors and tell you how likely a flood may be. These sources will also avail you to other crucial info, such as mudslide probability in your immediate area.
Safeguard Important Documents
No matter what the weather, you should always have copies of your identification and proof of insurance kept somewhere out of harm's way. In the worse case scenario, what will you need? What paperwork is just too valuable to risk sacrificing to the wrath of Mother Nature? Seal it all in plastic or drop it in a safe deposit box.
Inspect All Flood Related Equipment
You might have a sump pump downstairs in need of dusting off. If so, now is the time to do it, before the snow you're surrounded by becomes a quiet pool of murky water. Eek! You don't have a pump in the basement? Then quickly weigh the pros and cons of the basic types of equipment and prepare for melting. Also, make sure your gutters are clear of any debris that could block them, along with downspouts.
Give Appliances A Big Lift
Any major apparatus in the basement, such as your washer and dryer or furnace, should be elevated on cinder blocks. Please don't do this by yourself, lest you risk watching the flooding of your yard and basement from traction.
Mitigate Major Hazards
Electrical and fuel components in the basement are subject to saturation and currents, thus, you need to prepare them for the possibility of the chaos that a flooded basement brings. Close your eyes and picture the entire ground level filling up with water: What's going to cause the most problems for you? What requires your immediate attention now, in order to avert disaster?
Redirect Waters Away From Your Home From The Outside
For water levels of up to two feet, sandbags may be your best course of action. They are relatively inexpensive at a retailer and sometimes free at your local department store. A mix of sand and cement may provide your best protection, but plain old sand or soil will do in a pinch. Strategic placement is crucial to effectiveness, though, so consider land slopes and anticipate the direction of flow of the incoming water when putting your bags up.
Have A Recommended Expert On Call
No matter how much of a DIY expert you are, water damage makes for nasty clean up you may not be capable of handling all on your own. There are numerous factors to consider, such as mold development from moisture and the structural integrity of the home. Have the number of a trusted professional from a firm like All American Repair Services Inc. on hand if your area is anticipating a particularly wet season. It may also be in your best interest to contact them before disaster strikes, to make certain you've prepared as best you can.
As if the treacherous, seemingly endless winter weren't bad enough, you now have the tedious job of defending your home against spring flooding. As laborious and stressful as it may be, it's certainly better than leaving everything to chance.