Spring melt tips to keep your home dry from top to bottom
March 6, 2015
As we welcome springtime temperatures, homeowners should be aware of the risks that melting snow and ice can have on their homes, especially to roofs and basements.
"Your home is a huge investment," said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI CANADA. "Dealing with water damage can be daunting and expensive. Small routine maintenance steps now can save you a lot of time and money later."
Ice dams can form when temperatures fluctuate below and above the freezing point. If the snow on the roof melts, but can’t drain properly, it can pool and then re-freeze. This can cause damage to your shingles and soffits, and possibly even roofs, ceilings, walls and contents. The following tips can help prevent ice dams:
- Keep the amount of snow on your roof to a minimum. Use a roof rake or hire a professional to clear the snow away – for safety reasons, don’t go up on the roof yourself.
- Keep gutters and downspouts free of snow, ice buildup and icicles so there’s a ready path for melting snow and ice to drain.
- Ensure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated to prevent heat from inside your home from leaking into the attic and causing snow on the roof to melt. A roofing contractor can provide assistance if needed.
- In the fall, clean leaves and debris from your home’s gutters and downspouts to allow melting snow to flow as intended.
On the flipside, melting snow can also lead to basement seepage and sewer back-up. Prevent or minimize the risk with these tips:
- Shovel or remove snow from around your home's foundation and move it where it will melt and drain away from the foundation.
- Ensure your downspouts are extended so they discharge rain or meltwater at least two meters away from the foundation.
- Check to make sure your sump pump is working. If you don't have a sump pump, consider installing one. Contact a plumber for assistance if required.
- Consider installing a mainline sewer backwater valve to protect against sewer backup if you don't have one.
- Check your basement regularly for signs of water.
"Flooding is not covered by insurance and protection for ice dams and sewer back-up is not automatically included in all home insurance policies," said Cartmell. "Contact your insurance broker to ensure you have the correct coverage in place before damages occur."
If the spring melt does result in damages. SGI CANADA advises homeowners to do what they can to mitigate further damage and contact an insurance broker as soon as possible to file a claim. If insured with SGI CANADA, an adjuster will contact the homeowner to make an appointment to assess the damage.
For additional information about preventing water damage to your home, visit SGI CANADA's risk reduction tips.
About SGI CANADA
SGI offers its competitive property and casualty insurance products through SGI CANADA and its subsidiaries: SGI CANADA in Saskatchewan, SGI CANADA Insurance Services Ltd. in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, and Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario. It sells its products exclusively through independent insurance brokers in all jurisdictions. Visit SGI CANADA at www.sgicanada.ca.