How to Protect Your Home from Melting Snow

A lot of snow piled up on the roof and around a home can be cause for concern for many homeowners. Particularly when the snow starts to melt but then the temperature falls again and the water freezes, ice damage can do serious harm to the roof, gutters, and other areas of your home’s exterior. These are just a few suggestions on how to protect your home from melting snow after Lower Mainland winter storms.

Remove the Snow from the Roof

Don’t give the snow a chance to melt. Remove the snow from the roof as it accumulates. For the purpose of preventing ice dams from forming, you won’t have to clear off the whole roof. Either from the ground or on a ladder, gently remove the snow approximately four feet up from the roof’s edge (gutters) with a snow roof rake or a broom. This will leave an area nearest to the gutters free of snow that might melt and then freeze, creating an ice dam, preventing melting snow from entering the gutters.

Move the Snow Away

Get out your shovel! Remove snow from around the foundation of your home, the bottom of the downspouts, any basement windows, and stairwells. This will reduce the chance of water leaking into the house, resulting in potential mold, mildew, wood rot, and cracks in the foundation.

Remove Snow and Debris

See what the gutters are up to. Dust off any accumulated snow. Look inside the gutter channel for any blockages. Ensure gutter outlets and downpipes are free and clear of any debris that might prevent them from draining properly.

Flood Proof Your Basement

Sump pump: Check the sump pump to see if it is fully operational. Also, check that the discharge pipe is clear and in good working order. If melting snow does enter your home, the sump pump is designed to take care of it quickly before it becomes a flooding issue.

Storage solutions: Store items on shelves instead of on the floor. If it isn’t possible for items to be put on shelves, store them inside waterproof containers. Gather chemicals, cans of paint, etc. together and store them safely according to specific manufacturer’s instructions. If flooding should occur, you don’t want to be dealing with a jug of toxic liquid that’s leaking its contents as it bobs around in the water.

Move things around: Remove items such as cardboard boxes and stacks of absorbent materials that are in close proximity to the furnace, the water heater, and the washer and dryer. If the basement should flood and there is a chance that the water can drain faster than it rises, you want the runoff to have a clear path, resulting in less damage to appliances.

Follow Weather Forecasts

Listen to the evening forecast so you’ll know what to expect. Especially once the snow stops falling and the temperatures rise slightly, the snow will begin to melt. If there is going to be rain, the snow will melt faster and enter the gutters and downpipes at a faster rate. Local weather forecasts typically include flood warnings.