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4 Steps How to Prepare Your Home for Melting Snow

We all look forward to the end of winter and the start of spring.

There’s much to anticipate as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer. One thing you need to anticipate is the impact of melting snow on and around your home. A full winter of snow gathering on your roof and around your foundation can have an impact come springtime.

You might think a flood risk only happens due to heavy rainfall. But melting snow is just as dangerous. In fact, as little as six inches of melting snow can create an inch of water, and that can seep into your home or business building.

Here are 4 steps on how to prepare your home for melting snow, to avoid water damage and prevent potential flooding.

1. Clear Snow Away from the Building

When we get a heavy snowfall, there’s a big job ahead to shovel or run a snowblower to clear driveways and walkways. Unfortunately, the easiest or fastest way to do that is to pile the snow against the house, which can lead to major issues come springtime.

If you can, avoid shovelling snow against the house, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. And snow falls against the house in areas where there isn’t a driveway or walkway, hidden from your view at the back or side of the home.

Whether you’ve had a lot of snow or the regular amount, it’s important to take time on a regular basis to shovel that snow away from the perimeter of your home. Clear a path about two feet wide away from the edge of the house, including the ground where the eavestroughs will empty when the snow melts. Take time to also check and clear the pipes of any debris like leaves that can cause issues when snow turns to water in the spring.

2. Shovel the Window Wells and Gutters

Mother Nature puts snow in places you don’t want, like window wells that lead into the basement, or the gutters on the roof.  

Shovel out the window wells, any exterior stairwells, and other areas where snow gets trapped. When that snow melts, water will collect and have nowhere to go, potentially causing issues. If you can, check and clear gutters of snow too, making a clear path for water to flow when then snow melts.

3. Clean Snow Off the Roof

The roof of your house will gather a lot of snow over the winter, and when spring comes, that snow turns into a lot of water that can cause problems in your yard. Cleaning the snow off the roof will help prevent large volumes of water from melting into the yard next to the walls, potentially seeping into the home.

Clearing your roof also has other benefits. 

A big buildup of snow on your roof increases the chances of a melt-and-freeze cycle that leads to ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that prevents snow and melting snow from draining off the roof, and potentially creates a water backup that leaks into your home. 

Possible damage can be done to the insulation under the roof, as well as the ceiling, walls below, and even drip to the floors and create major water damage inside your home. Some of the destruction can remain unseen behind the walls and ceilings, leading to further issues like mold!

Use a roof rake to clear snow, particularly on the lower part of the roof, on a regular basis. Or hire a professional to clear the roof, especially after large snowfalls. That will lessen the risk of ice dams and move possible high volumes of water away from the house when the snow melts.

4. Do Some Prep Work Before Winter Arrives

Make a note in your calendar to perform these simple steps each autumn, before the first snowfall:

  • Check the drainage around your house, office or commercial building. Look at window wells and gutters to make sure they are clear of any debris. Remove leaves from gutters and make sure the ground slopes away from the house. 
  • Inspect your basement walls or have an expert do it for you. Look for cracks that allow water to enter or seep through into the basement. Watch for evidence such as previous water marks or stains. Get any damage repaired before the snow flies.
  • Inspect your roof or have it inspected and repaired if necessary by a professional. Damaged shingles or other issues can lead to leaks and water damage. 
  • If you don’t yet have a sump pump, consider installing as it can help prevent flooding by moving water out and away from the basement.

If It’s Too Late….

If you do get water in your home, it’s vital that you take fast action to minimize damage. Moisture in the house can cause issues like mold, which doesn't just develop in the hot weather of the summer months. Take steps to find the water source, remove wet items from your house, and try to stop the water flow. 

If you have water issues or you’re concerned about flood damage or mold, the got mold? team can help to resolve your situation.

The Bottom Line

We’re all used to shovelling snow from our driveways and sidewalks over the winter months and look forward to the end of that season. But it’s important to prepare your home and its surroundings so that spring doesn’t bring water damage or flooding. 

By reviewing our 4 steps on how to prepare your home for melting snow, you can take action to prevent damage to your home. If you suffer from flooding or water damage, you can trust the experts at got mold?™ to provide you with advice and resources to deal with water damage, flood damage, mold remediation and more. 

Contact us today at 1.888.909.MOLD [6653] to find out more about our services in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

Ardith Stephanson is a freelance writer and journalist who shares some of her own stories at

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