Protect Your Home’s Foundation From Melting Snow

Protect Your Home’s Foundation From Melting Snow
  • Opening Intro -

    The first snows of the winter are often welcomed, especially when the white stuff appears during the holiday season.


Christmas lights, decorations and a frosty touch are the makings of a memorable holiday, but as winter progresses, snow can become a hassle, including to your home.

We’ve looked at the impact of impact of snow on the roof, especially in deep amounts and where producing ice dams are concerned. Another threat is to your foundation as water can also find its way through cracks in the basement wall, leaving homes flooded.

Here’s what to keep in mind as the snow falls then melts this winter:

1. Inspect your gutters. Hopefully, you cleaned out your gutters following the last falling leaves this year. If you did not, then you may be facing a pair of problems: ice dams and foundation damage. Gutters should be clear to allow melting snow to run off. If they’re clogged throughout the winter, there is a good chance you’ll face a costly repair before spring arrives.

2. Clear downspouts too. It isn’t enough that gutters are clear. The downspouts should also be free of debris. You should also ensure that the downspouts are equipped with extensions to move water as far away from the foundation as possible.

3. Inspect and repair cracks. Handling any foundation problem in the winter can be a challenge as concrete will have difficulty curing at sub-freezing temperatures. A short term sealant may provide the necessary “band aid” approach, but a much more comprehensive plan of attack will be necessary once warmer weather sets in. Besides repairing cracks, French drains (underground pipes) may have to be installed. Also, the soil around the home should slope away from the foundation.

4. Consider a sump pump. Water in your basement can ruin your home, but you can counteract at least some of that effect by installing a sump pump. A more comprehensive system will cost you upwards of $5,000 if you have a professional do the work. Or, you may be able to manage with an isolated sump pump with gravel around it. Your cost here will be at least $500. Don’t skimp however — you want a sump pump that can handle the job.

Winter Homeowner Woes

Winter should be the season that gives you a break from most of the cares of taking care of a home, besides snow removal. A problem put off until spring can only worsen, so call for professional help if that foundation leak turns into a flood.

See AlsoHow to Identify Common Roof Problems



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Categories: Home Structure

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".