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German houses seen over flooded Rhine river

Prepare Ahead for Possible Spring Thaw Flooding


Every spring brings new tales of unexpected rising river levels and other spring thaw-related water woes. This spring will likely be no different. Rather than wait and wonder, Paul Davis companies throughout the U.S. suggest that homeowners — even those without basements — take precautions so that when the spring thaw does come, there is less likelihood of problem water accumulation. The following maintenance tips can help leave basements drier and damage far less likely this spring.  

Start By Clearing Debris From Rain Gutters

Cleaning all rain gutters in both spring and fall keeps gutters free of debris so they don’t overflow. All gutter connections should be watertight and on-ground drainage should divert rainfall and melting snow and ice away from your home.

Lengthen All Downspouts

Have downspouts run at least 10 feet past the home’s foundation, direct them towards sloping land far away from basement walls. If possible, bury downspout extensions or connect them to a drywell. Drywells will retain water before they start to back up. For any extension pipes below ground, be sure to check them regularly for proper draining.

Landscaping Can Be a Water Diversion

When property slopes towards a home, surface water will naturally run to the foundation. Placing landscaping to direct water away from the home will help water seep away from foundation walls and keep basements better protected. Also, avoid the temptation to pile shoveled snow close to your home in winter.

Use a Dehumidifier

Installing a dehumidifier to control inside humidity may be a wise, low-cost investment to help stop excessive moisture. A dehumidifier will control the level of humidity in your basement and should help stop excessive musty odors, sweating pipes, mold, and rust. In northern and mountain areas, buy a dehumidifier with a deicer feature. The deicer will prevent the unit from freezing. Close basement windows and doors year-round to help prevent warm, humid air from causing condensation to form on cooler floors and walls.

Check Your Pipes

Plumbing systems should always be in good working order and well insulated from freeze during cold weather. Check for leaks in the system, since leaks often contribute to troublesome water damage. For even more protection, have a waterproofing professional inspect the basement to make sure that it’s well waterproofed. This way large amounts of water won’t be able to sneak their way into a below-grade basement.