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Mild weather raises concerns over unwanted water in basements

Mild weather raises concerns over unwanted water in basements

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – You may be seeing a lot of melting happening during the first half of this week thanks to well above normal temperatures in the 40s and even 50s.

This ‘early-winter’ thaw might have some people concerned about water getting into their basements, not something we typically have to deal with until spring.

The biggest thing homeowners need to know about melting situations like this week is to get snow away from the foundation of your home.

Some basement waterproofing experts recommend keeping an eye on your basements the next couple days.

“There’s all that new snow and it’s going to be like a mini-spring melt,” All-Star Basements Sales Manager Jeff Beck said. “Typically that’s the time where you’re going to have the most water.”

Houses with snow and melting snow(KTTC)

If you do end up with some unwanted water in your basement, you will most likely see that water along exterior walls.

You may also notice swollen baseboards, water stains, or wet carpet.

“A lot of times it’s in the places you least expect, so behind the book shelves unfortunately, behind boxes in the storage room,” White’s Fire Smoke and Water Damage Restoration General Manager Michael Brooks said.

“Usually where we find it would be in areas like furnace rooms, utility rooms, things like that where you can actually see the exposed structural walls and things like that,” he said.

Experts advise doing a few things to try and avoid giving that melted snow any opportunities to get inside.

“If you’ve got snow that’s piled up next to your house, it helps to clear that away,” Beck said. “Any gutter downspout extensions you have, make sure that they are on. It’s recommended that you have extensions that are at least six feet away from your house.”

“If those downspouts have popped off with the snow, you’ve got that water running right down along your foundation wall,” American Waterworks Sales Manager Tim Schneider said. “And also, I would say to check, even if they are one, to make sure that thee ends of them are clear where the water can get away.”

A downspout on a house
A downspout on a house(KTTC)

It’s also important to make sure your sump pump is operating correctly.

“Making sure your sump pump is in working order with a five gallon bucket of water, dump it into the sump pump and let it drain out,” Brooks said.

If you do ultimately end up with water in your basement, you can do these things until the problem can be fixed.

“Potentially grab the carpet up and roll that back, do everything you can to move furniture and things like that so you don’t have lasting water damage,” Schneider said. “You can run fans and things like that too.”

All three businesses said they offer free estimates and are happy to answer any questions homeowners may have.

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