Did the long, cold winter force you to bundle up and stay inside? Here at Educators Insurance Agency, we realized back in February that more cups of hot cocoa weren’t going to be enough to get us through the season — especially when spring seemed so far off. Despite the snowy, windy and rainy March, we hope it’s safe to say we’ve finally turned the corner. Spring is here and we can help you get ready for it.
Across Massachusetts, we’ve seen reports of basement flooding and water seepage. April is always a wet month in the Northeast, but the extended ground freeze may mean that we can expect even more flooding this year. Frozen ground can’t absorb as much water during spring rains, so it sits on our lawns and flows to low points on roads, gullies and around basements.
Prevention is the safest, and often least expensive, way to survive basement water infiltration. On a drier day, check the perimeter of your house for ways to direct water away from it. If you can do so safely, take the time to check and clean out gutters. There may be a few remaining leaves and stubborn slush blocking the downspouts. When they’re clear, gutters and downspouts can help direct meltwater from your roof away from your house and foundation. If snow has dislodged downspouts, now is the time to reconnect them and ensure they’re leading water far away from your house.
Also take the time to check the ground around your foundation. If you have a concrete apron around the perimeter, make sure those last remaining snowbanks aren’t hiding piles of leaves or other yard debris left over from last fall. Organic matter can retain moisture that leads to mold or cause standing water to freeze in cracks, making them more susceptible to leaks.
In the longer term, make sure your house is “making the grade,” inside and out. After a rainstorm, look for standing water and big puddles in your yard. These are areas you may need to regrade so that water can flow away from them. Inside your basement, check to ensure the floor is graded to slope toward your sump pump. Though a sump pump won’t keep your basement dry, it will prevent water from building up and causing long-term problems.