Be Spring Smart.
When you think of flooding, images of rivers breaking levees and cars submerged in water come to mind. But what many people don’t realize is that everyone is at risk of spring flooding, even if you don’t live near a body of water.
Spring in the mountains is unpredictable – warmer sunny weather mixed with snow, sleet and rain; a perfect cocktail for flooding. The frozen ground is slowly thawing but the rapidly melting snow and rain cannot be absorbed so creates runoff. Storm drains are often backed up, water levels are rising and streams are flowing fast. It only takes a few inches of water to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. And in addition to flooding, this movement of water can also trigger landslides and cause damage to vegetation.
To all the home owners out there, our suggestions to you are:
– Check the drainage around your home. Shovel snow away from your foundations if needed to redirect melt. If you find your home regularly surrounded by standing water you may need to have areas regraded.
– Check your roof: heavy wet snow may melt and slide off in big chunks and cause damage to whatever it lands on. Ensure it will not land on utility lines.
– Make sure you have back flow valves on all pipes entering your house. That way if the sewer system is flooded or there are dramatic changes in pipe pressure, you are less likely to have backup in your home.
– If your property is near a body of water be prepared for rising water levels – sandbagging, moving possessions to higher ground, ensure your sump pump is working efficiently. Here is a blog I’ve previously written about sump pumps.
– Don’t store your prize possessions in the basement, or at least put them on elevated shelving.
– If you do have interior flooding, remove wet contents immediately as mold can rapidly develop.
– Review your current homeowners insurance policy and become familiar with what is and is not covered. Flood damage is typically not covered without an additional flood policy.
– In case of flash flooding or land slips, keep emergency supplies in your home.
And to all the dog owner out there, avoid letting your furry kids in the mountain streams until the snow melt subsides. It is very easy for them to be accidentally swept downstream in the spring run off.
Here’s looking forward to a great mud season!