How to Prevent Basement Flooding from Snow Melt

When there are heavy rains, it’s not uncommon to have water in your basement, but melting snow can also turn your lower levels into an indoor swimming pool. There’s no way to prevent snow from melting as temperatures rise, so the best course of action is to keep water from entering your home and damaging the contents.

Water in your basement does more than leave items soggy; it can be dangerous to your health and the safety of your home. Mold starts to grow within 48 hours because the spores are everywhere in the air and feed off common household items like paper and drywall. A foundation wall that stays wet will weaken over time and eventually collapse. The structural integrity of your home relies on a sturdy foundation, so a collapse of any size can be a disaster for the rest of the building. These tips will help you keep snow melt out of your basement and avoid water damage.

Clear the area when it snows.

How to Prevent Basement Flooding from Snow MeltThe most effective way to keep snow melt out of your basement is to keep it away from the foundation of your building. You may not realize that one cubic foot of snow equals ¾ of a gallon of water, so a snow accumulation of a couple of feet around the perimeter of your home adds up to a great deal of water that can end up flooding your basement. When you’re clearing sidewalks and driveways after snowstorms, be sure to clear a path around your home to keep snow away so it won’t find its way inside when it eventually melts. A five-foot perimeter around the building should be enough to keep the water out when the temperatures rise.

Invest in a sump pump and make sure it works.

A sump pump is a smart investment, especially if your basement is furnished. It turns on automatically when water in the sump pit reaches a certain level and pumps the water through a pipe outside and away from your home. Pumps vary in price and are available in home improvement and hardware stores, as well as online sources. It’s a good idea to test the pump on a regular basis to ensure it will work when you need it. Pour a small amount of water into the pit, just enough to go over the level that triggers the pump. If it doesn’t turn on immediately, make sure the pump is plugged in and installed correctly before you consider replacing it. Be sure one of the times you check your sump pump is in late winter, before snow starts to melt.

Repair any cracks in your foundation’s walls.

Cracks in the walls are an easy way for water to enter your basement. It’s possible to seal small cracks yourself using epoxy or a specially made sealing kit from the hardware or home improvement store, but leave major crack repairs to the professionals. It’s important to repair cracks as soon as possible because they will only get worse over time, and the foundation supports the rest of your home. If the foundation gives way, you will have major property damage that is expensive to repair. Keep in mind that concrete is porous, so you may still get some snow melt in your basement even if you don’t have any cracks, if there’s enough moisture outside the foundation walls.

No matter the cause of home flooding in Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Hutchinson, Marshall, or Willmar, MN and the surrounding areas, ServiceMaster Professional Services is available 7 days a week, 365 days a year to remove all traces of excess water from homes and businesses. We use only the most advanced cleaning products and equipment to extract water and clean, dry, and restore your building and its contents before they’re permanently damaged. Our experienced professionals will stop mold before it can start growing using anti-microbial products, and repair damaged items like furniture, books, and heirlooms you may have thought were lost forever. It’s vital to contact us quickly after a flood because the damage only becomes worse over time.

Water damage restoration costs vary, depending on the extent of the damage and the presence of mold. According to, the national average cost for flood damage cleanup is $2,573.