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The Five E’s of Dealing with Melting Snow and Flooded Basements

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

Heavy snowfall this winter will result in a watery mess this spring. A commonly accepted model is that 10 inches of snow equates to 1 inch of water content. Many areas of southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts have had 70 to 100+ inches of snow this season. It will melt eventually. The pressing question is how quickly will it melt? A “fast melt” could be devastating as both public and private drainage systems and infrastructures are not designed to sustain such an influx of water. Flooding and water damage to properties is a real concern.
Is your home prepared for the melting snow? You should be taking precautions now to avoid costly water damage to your basement and belongings. Melting snow that floods basements is often defined as “ground water” by insurance companies. There is a good chance your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover the damages. This might be a good time to check with your local insurance agent. In the meantime, we have compiled “The Five E’s of Dealing with Melting Snow and Flooded Basements.”

  1. Empty- Consider emptying your basement of valuable and sentimental items that could be ruined by flood damage. Common items we see damaged are paintings, photo albums and antique furniture.
  2. Enclose- Take time to evaluate what your basement contents are stored in. Are your items enclosed in cardboard moving boxes? We recommend storing items in plastic totes. These are much more resistant to water damage and will better protect your belongings.
  3. Elevate- Objects directly in contact with the basement floor are at great risk of sustaining flood damage. We recommend elevating your belongings on wood pallets or shelving systems. Try to elevate everything at least a few inches off the ground.
  4. Eliminate- You can reduce the threat of water infiltration into your basement if you eliminate the snow around your foundation. Clearing a five foot path is recommended. This may not be possible for everyone, but can make a big difference in defending against basement water damage.
  5. Extract- Do you have the ability to extract water from your basement in the event of flooding? If you have a sump pump, this would be the time to inspect its functionality. A “wet/dry vacuum” might also be a good investment. It will be helpful in the event of small flood situations.

We hope the above tips will help you avoid basement flooding from all the snow-melt we are about to experience in areas such as Manchester, Nashua and Concord, New Hampshire (NH). If you should find yourself needing emergency water damage restoration or flood cleanup services, make sure to contact the professionals at Soil-Away Cleaning & Restoration.

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