Everyone thinks that the biggest offender of water in a basement is from long periods of heavy rain. We in upstate New York know better, that our inches of snow can cause just as much damage to your home as rain water.
Also though snow melting is a slower process than heavy downpours, it can be just as detrimental. Furthermore, as the snow turns to water slowly, it may be hard to detect water in your basement right away so it is vital to be diligent about checking for damage frequently.
Heavy Rain Is Just As Bad As Melting Snow
Even the lightest, fluffiest snow can cause severe damage to your basement. For every foot of powdery snow, about one inch of water is created when temperatures rise. Although that may seem minimal outside, it has the potential to cause extreme damage inside. Even just one single inch of snow can produce almost three thousand gallons of water per acre if it is dense enough.
Heavy wet snow or sleet could melt even faster as they act more like rain than snow.
How melting snow causes basement leaks
If a mere inch of melted snow creates thousands of gallons of water per acre, even dusting of snow melting can bring thousands of gallons of water in and around the foundation of your home. With the unpredictability of upstate weather and the possibility for a sixty degree day top follow a giant snowstorm, the water table under your home could be saturated, causing overflow and water pressure against your foundation. Also the warmth from your house and basement can contribute to small amounts of condensation and water in outer perimeter of the home.
These wet conditions can cause stress on the foundation, if the foundation is weakened after years of melted water and house settling, water will come into the basement. If water melts during the winter and the ground is still frozen it cannot be absorbed. The water will then have nowhere to go except flow into the weaknesses in your basement by way of trickling down your foundation walls.
Is it possible to waterproof basements in the winter?
Yes, but it is important to take weather and the conditions of the ground into consideration. A free estimate from Everdry would be a fantastic way to start exploring your options.
How to stay on top of your basement
The majority of homes that were built post 1970’s have poured concrete foundations. These types of foundations often leak through tie-rod holes and cracks that occur in basement walls. The best ways to prepare yourself for potential water damage in your basement is to:
• Get to know the look of your basement
• Check for new cracks and holes in the walls regularly
• Be aware of the weather and check for moisture as temperatures rise