Snow Melt - Spring Thaw

Snow Melt and Spring Thaw

 Most people don't realize the relationship with snow and groundwater.

Spring is a time when heavy snow dissipates and leaves large amounts of snowmelt water. Rapid snowmelt can create a dangerous risk for flooded basements. You can also experience thaws during the winter months as well. You are usually not aware of the water that builds up from a thaw, it's sunny and warm out. It can trick you.

According to the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program, flood damage is the No. 1 natural disaster in America. Flooded basements and homes amount to more than $3 billion in paid-out insurance claims annually. Many flooded basements come from spring snowmelt flooding.

  • Frozen soil — Once the ground becomes a block of ice, it is impossible for water to enter. Conditions stay this way until spring weather warms the soil. Excessive water on frozen ground will find the easiest path to flow which is the backfill around your foundation/basement, the clay bowl.
  • Heavy spring rains — Heavy spring rains present two serious flooding threats. One is quickly melting the snowpack, causing it to release uncontrollable snowmelt water. Secondly, heavy rains add considerably more water volume to the area. When spring rain is above natural levels and the ground is still frozen, this triggers the perfect storm of having far more water than can be controlled.
  • Ice and debris jams — If your discharge line is frozen or blocked with snow, your pump will eventually burn up due to it running non stop, or worse yet your sump pit overflows and your basement floods.

Snow Melt Info

  • One cubic foot of packed snow will melt into two to three gallons of water.
  • A 1,000-square-foot roof covered in one foot of compressed snow will melt into 2,500 gallons of water.
  • A 40-foot-diameter, 10-foot-high snow pile will melt into 5,000 gallons of water.

Snow FAQ

What can I do?

  • Try to keep snow away from your foundation.
  • Get extended downspouts and keep them clear of snow.
  • Get a Basement Defender

How can Basement Defender help?

  • Basement Defender will test your pumps each day, before the big thaw, so you know your pumps are working and your system will be able to handle the water.
  • Basement Defender will send you an alert if your sump pump is running excessively - more that 3 minutes at a time. This can be from a blocked or frozen discharge line.
  • With the mobile app you can view your pumps data and runtimes to see if your pumps are running frequently.
  • The Humidity and Temperature sensor will send you an alert if the temperature dips below 44 degrees in your basement, preventing frozen pipes or discharge lines.
  • The Humidity and Temperature sensor will let you know if you get flooding from another area of your basement or crawlspace with the humidity sensor.
  • Basement Defender provides peace of mind in all seasons knowing that your sump pump system is being tested every day and will send you an alert if a problem arises.
SMART CRAWL SPACE DEBATE: Which is better?
The importance of daily testing your sump pump.

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