Helpful tips from RSA for protecting yourself, your home and business during the extreme thaw:

Protect the outside of your property:

  • Shovel paths or trenches for your melting snow and rain water to run away from your property, not towards it.
  • Check that all your downspouts divert water away from the property-some may have been damaged or knocked off in winter months.
  • Make sure your eaves troughs are clear so water can run through easily
  • Avoid climbing on the roof of the property using a long-handled metal rake to remove snow.
  • If you have a sump pump make sure it is operating properly and discharging the water at least 9 meters from the foundation of your property-make sure it’s not moving towards someone else’s foundation.

Protect the inside of your property:

  • Raise any personal belongings that you have stored in the basement off the floor to prevent potential water damage.
  • If your basement is unfinished, consider having all valuable items off the floor on 2×4’s or some other way of providing it clearance.
  • If your basement is finished and you’ve experienced flooding-get as many things as your can lifted off the floor or carpet.
  • Inspect your basement ceilings for leaks after outside garden hose supply line(s) have been turned on in case of a frozen/burst pipe over the winter.  Call a plumber immediately if a leak is detected.

Another serious side effect of fluctuating temperature is ice damming.  Ice damming occurs when water builds up behind a blockage of ice and is one of the most common causes of weather related damage to homes.  In order to protect yourself from the costly effects of ice damming, property owners need to prepare themselves in the following ways:

  • Ensure you have proper roof ventilation.  A cool attic during winter months stops the thaw/freeze cycle, and eliminates roof damming. 
  • After a snow storm, remove the bulk of snow off your roof.  Hiring a professional is always recommended.