Prepare Your Home from Snowmelt Flood

Snowy days gives off calm and relaxing vibes to everyone. However, heavy snowfalls can mean danger too. Heavy snowfalls have been a regular occurrence every winter. Even though we are nearing the end of this cold season with warmer weather moving in, warmer conditions can also mean huge snow melts. Throughout the winter season and into spring, snowmelt will present significant flood danger to countless homes and businesses across the country.

What is Snowmelt Flood?

A flood is considered a snowmelt flood when melting snow is a major source of the water involved. Unlike rainfall, which reaches the soil almost immediately, snow stores the water for some time until it melts, delaying the arrival of water at the soil for days, weeks, or even months. Once it does reach the soil, the water either soaks into the ground or runs off. If more water runs off than soaks in, flooding occurs.

The Dangers of Melting Snow

When the snow and ice on your roof begin to melt, the resulting water needs somewhere to go. If your gutters and downspouts are clogged or broken and unable to safely direct water away from your home, this water will pool around your foundation. Likewise, as the snow on your lawn begins to melt, it will direct toward your foundation if your site is not properly graded. Both of these could cause major issues if you have a foundation crack. Snow melt will seep into your basement causing water damage, mould, or worse.

Maintaining the area around your house is your responsibility. You should always be ready and be prepared from any potential flooding even if it has never happened before. Here are some of the great preparations you may consider to get your house ready:

  1. Check your Roof

While snow may look light and fluffy, the weight of it can actually put tremendous pressure on your roof. Most roofs are designed to hold 20 pounds of snow per square foot, but snow can easily compact beyond this level and put your roof at risk of collapsing. Snow and ice that melt on your roof may pool, damage your roofing, and even leak and cause flooding into your home. Flat and low-slope roofs are at especially high risk for this kind of damage – clear them off before temperatures rise. It’s easiest to clear snow away when it’s fresh. Use roof rakes and shovels to clear your roof after every storm, and take care to stay safe. If you’ve neglected to clear your roof throughout the season, or you can’t access the roof to clean it safely on your own, you may want to hire a professional residential snow removal company to ensure the job is done well without putting you or your roof at risk.


  1. Clear Around Your Home

Snow has a tendency to pile up around the perimeter of your home as it falls from the roof and gets shoveled from walkways. While the result may look like a winter wonderland at first, melting snow could quickly become a muddy, flooded mess come spring. When temperatures start to rise, shovel snow at least 3 to 5 feet away from the base of your home. Clear snow and debris out of and away from your gutters and downspouts so snowmelt can drain properly. Make sure the water flows away from the structure’s foundation, so water doesn’t pool nearby or leak into your home.


  1. Monitor and Maintain Your Yard

When lots of snow melts in your yard, gallons of water remain in its place. This water soaks into the soil, creating a soft, mushy surface texture. What can’t be absorbed by the ground will pool on the surface. Depending on its location, this water can ultimately flow back toward your home, crack its foundation and leak into your basement. To minimize the risk of damage from snowmelt flooding in your yard, spread out or remove large piles of snow before they melt. Monitor your yard to identify areas with down slopes and proper drainage where you can pile snow without worrying that it will flow back toward your home when it melts.

The final thing to remember when you are piling up snow or have piles of it in your yard is to ensure that the snow banks are not too big. If you have mountains of snow, something could come along and snowball them, so to speak, and turn them into massive piles.

Flooding has caused immense property damage to many homes throughout the years. To save yourself from any out-of-pocket expenses, insure your properties with the help of ONYX Insurance Brokers. Contact or email us now!


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