The phrase “spring thaw” conjures up images of snow piles shrinking and icicles drip-dripping. All that melting snow and ice can create issues with a home’s foundation and basement. But when spring approaches and the snow is gone, no problem, right?


Wrong. Even in seasons with less-than-average snowfalls, spring is a time for homeowners to be on the lookout. Thawing happens below the surface, too, as frozen soil slowly softens, transforming from a hard brick into a soggy sponge — in both cases leaving little room to absorb rainfall or late-season snow melt.


“We’ve seen many cases when the ground is so frozen that it can’t absorb a heavy rain,” said Dave Harley, owner of AdvantaClean of Badgerland. “Under those conditions, spring rains can overwhelm the drain tiles of a house.” And if gutters and downspouts have become clogged with sediment over the winter, rainwater will need someplace else to go. Either way, you’ll want to guard against basement floods, foundation damage or damaged landscaping.


So now’s a good time to take some precautions before water gets to places where it shouldn’t be. “A few simple checks could save you headaches — and money,” said Dave. Here are four ways to get ahead of any potential problems.


1.     Check your roof and gutters


Do a visual inspection of your roof to see if there are any leaks. While you’re on the ladder, clear debris from your gutters and make sure no downspouts have become disconnected or clogged. Once you’re off the ladder and back on the ground, a rainy day is a good opportunity to see if your gutters and downspouts are functioning properly. Look for leaks or water pooling on the ground. Downspouts should reach 5 feet from your home’s foundation.


2.     Check your attic


Grab a flashlight and explore your roof from the inside. Check joists and insulation for evidence of water damage. Sniff for any moldy smells. If you have exhaust fans, make sure they’re working so they’ll do their job when things start heating up.


3.     Do an exterior walk-around


Check any pond pumps, spigots, pipes and other fixtures that use water. Looks for leaks, which could lead to water damage inside your home. If you have sewer drains, make sure they aren’t clogged with debris.


If your home uses a well and septic service, schedule your annual maintenance check and consider investing in a water quality test if it’s been a while. To avoid buildup in these areas, eliminate mulch, leaves, and debris left in the yard or street as much as possible.


4.     Check the basement

Check for cracks in your walls and floors, which can be an easy way for water to seep in. Inspect any exterior openings such as window wells and vents to make sure they’re clear. And if you have a sump pump, now’s the time to make sure it’s functioning properly.


We can help!


If you see evidence of water damage or you’re worried about mold, AdvantaClean of Badgerland can conduct an inspection and recommend remediation steps. Call us at (262) 437-7330.

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