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How Snow & Ice Can Lead to Winter Flooding?

Published by Allegra on October 27, 2021 in category: Uncategorized

Winter floodingObviously, rain causes water damage, but snowfall and ice can also lead to water damage. Snow is basically crystalline water, so it can wreak significant havoc on your home when it melts.  But that’s just one thing: snow and ice can also lead to a phenomenon called winter flooding.

What is Winter Flooding?

While people often associate floods with river overflow in the springtime, the risk of flood stays all year round, even in winter. This is because winter seasons experience heavy snowfall, and snow and ice can lead to flooding inside your homes.

Causes of Winter Flooding

There are several causes of winter flooding, but the most common reason behind winter flooding is heavy snow and ice. After snowfall, snow accumulates on our roof and around the house. When this snow melts in large volumes, this leads to flooding and consequently water damage inside homes.

Lack of Water Absorption

Now, you might be wondering how snow and ice can lead to flooding when water can be absorbed in the ground and carried away from the house with the help of gutters, as happens with rainwater. However, in winter, the frozen ground prevents water absorption in the ground, due to which water accumulates.  Moreover, when the snow thaws too quickly to be absorbed into the ground or surrounding systems, it will be carried into your basement, causing flooding.

Ice Jams

Another winter flood risk is ice jams.  These occur when due to prolonged cold spells, the surface of rivers end up freezing. When this is followed by bouts of higher temperature, large chunks of frozen ice break, sending water spiraling into neighboring communities. If your house is near any water body, your home may be prone to flooding.

Winter Storms

Winter storms also lead to winter floods. Flash floods and heavy snowfall are common during winter, making your home very susceptible to flooding.

Winter Flood Damage

Flooding, in whatever season, can cause significant damage to homes. They can lead to water damage and then mold damage. When the snow melts, it accumulates on the roof. This may cause roof leaks and seepage into your basement and cracks through your walls. When this moisture lingers on your walls and wooden floor, it creates the perfect breeding ground for mold growth.  Mold spores then quickly spread around the house, ruining important possessions.

Basement flooding will not only wreak your furniture but also bring in contaminants with the melted snow. This can cause a host of health problems for inhabitants. Flooding around the house that goes unattended will also weaken the foundation of your home, which will then pose a safety risk to people living inside. Moreover, when melted ice goes through the gutters and pipes of your home, it can freeze again, leading to pipe bursts, which once again leads to the possibility of flooding.

How to Prevent Winter Flooding?

Since flooding is not a risk you would want to incur, you should take preventative measures to stop winter flooding inside your home. Here are some of the ways to do that.

1.    Clean the Roof

Do not let snow accumulate on your roof. When snow and ice sit on your roof for too long, it will penetrate inside your home and cause flooding. To prevent this, regularly clean the roof during the winter season and do not let the snow pile up more than 2 feet high.

2.    Unclog the Gutters

Make sure that you regularly inspect your gutters for any blockages during the winter season. During winters, snow and ice can block the gutters. Since blocked gutters do not allow water to flow away from the house, this standing water will cause flooding and even damage the structural foundation of your home.

3.    Insulate Exposed Pipes

When freezing water enters the pipes, it often causes pipes to burst. This can also lead to flooding, usually in the basement of homes. To prevent this, you should insulate exposed pipes so that the water flowing inside does not end up freezing and causing the risk of floods.

4.    Inspect the Sump Pump

The sump pump is vital for the elimination of excess water that accumulates near the house. This standing water can flow into your house and cause flooding. To prevent this, you should check your sump pump in advance of the winter months to make sure it is functional.

5.    Shovel Snow Away from Your Home

After a spell of snowfall, snow often accumulates right outside the house. When this snow melts, the ground is too cold for effective water absorption. This water can then meander through pathways into the house and cause flooding. This is why you shouldn’t let snow build up around the house and make sure to regularly shovel it away from the foundation of your home.

Flood Damage Restoration

If you experience winter floods and water damage in your home, you should contact 911 Restoration of Middle Tennessee. They will offer timely water damage restoration before extensive damage is done, which leads to mold growth.

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