What Is Spring Thaw and Why Should You Be Worried About It?

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On the one hand, spring thaw is a relief from the long months of slick roads and frigid weather. It’s time to bring out the BBQS, hire up the electric smokers (check out some of these new awesome electric smokers) and get ready to entertain in the backyard!

On the other, it’s also a serious cause for concern. Rapidly melting snow paired with heavy rainfall can create a flood risk. If your house isn’t prepared for the seasonal phenomenon, you could be risking a drenched basement or a host of other problems if you’re not careful.

What Is “Spring Thaw”?

When the cold temperatures of winter finally fade, the environment goes through a process called spring thaw — layers of ice and snow that cling to rooftops, sidewalks and roads start to melt. The process can be gradual, slowly whittling down the piles of snow. When the temperatures suddenly skyrocket, the snowmelt will be very quick. In conjunction with intense rainfall, water can force its way into basements.

What Are Some Flooding Precautions That You Can Take?

You can protect your basement from the nasty side-effects of spring thaw by modifying your home plumbing.

One of the recommended tips to make your home flood ready is to clear any clogs from the basement floor drains, so pooling water can’t collect on the floor. To ensure that the job is done correctly, you should get your drains professional inspected by a plumbing company that offers high-quality video camera inspection services. The equipment will help them locate any obstructions that could stop the drain from diverting spilling water.

If you have a sump pump, give it a test run to see if it is working effectively. The device should be equipped with a backup power source, whether it’s an additional battery pack or a generator. It’s not uncommon for homes to flood during heavy storms because their sump pump shut down during a power outage.  

Flood water doesn’t have to get in through the weeping tile, through siding or open windows. It can come up through your own plumbing systems, pushing its way through your floor drains, toilets and tubs. The shocking situation typically happens when municipal sewer systems are overwhelmed with rainwater during a storm. The contents push through various exits, including the sewer lines of nearby households.

It’s a problem associated with sewer systems that deal with sewage and stormwater together, instead of separately. If you’re living in an area that’s prone to sewer back-ups or that uses a combined sewer system, you should have a blackwater valve installed to protect your basement from water damage. The valve turns your sewer line into a one-way passage, keeping the municipal system’s back-up from pushing its way into your household drains.

You can have all of these plumbing protections completed by a plumbing company. Find one that can run drain camera inspections, clear obstructions, install sump pumps, add backwater valves and more.

Having the number of a local plumber that you trust is always useful for emergencies. If you don’t have precautions set up and your basement fills up with water, you can call up that plumber right away to get you out of a tough situation. You’ll know that despite the unfortunate circumstances, your house will be in good hands.  

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  1. Flood water doesn’t have to get in through the weeping tile.

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