How to Prevent Snowmelt From Damaging Your Foundation


Megan Wild 

In places with heavy snowfall, farmers and homesteaders need to prevent snowmelt from damaging the foundation of their homes and any outbuildings.

Snowmelt is, of course, water coming from melting snow. When snow and ice begin to melt, the water will seep into the ground. But under many conditions, including heavy snow and warm temperatures causing rapid melt, the ground can quickly become saturated. When it does, the water from snowmelt has to have somewhere to go. Unfortunately, it can go through foundations, damaging them.

It’s important to understand that foundations do not always repel all the water from snowmelt. Concrete foundations are porous. If there is too much water on the neighboring ground, water will start to go through the foundation. It can weaken the foundation itself, causing structural damage.

If snowmelt goes through your foundation repeatedly, you may have to replace the foundation, which is a lengthy and expensive process. Water going through the foundation, of course, can also damage the basement and any equipment or property stored in the basement.

Insurance companies generally don’t cover seepage from snowmelt, so you can end up paying for foundation replacement, basement repair, and replacement of damaged property out of your own pocket.

12/13/2017 4:55:00 PM

Megan, snow melt can definitely be an issue. I personally don't think a basement should be finished off as a living area but many in my city do just that. Almost always water damage is an issue at some point in a house basement. My neighborhood is filled with gorgeous mature trees and was a reason that I bought the house. However, trees have roots and love sewer lines. In thirty years, I've had to cleanup sewer backup issues. Fortunately, it was caught before it crept too far away from the floor drain. My basement was finished off when I moved in but I made it back into an unfinished basement. ***** Have a great water control day. ***** Nebraska Dave

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