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Preparing for the big melt

Apr 16, 2015 2 minute read

Preparing for the big melt

With spring in full swing and summer on the horizon, this is an exciting time of year. However, with the extreme snowfall experienced by Atlantic Canada this past winter, we are advising residents to take extra caution when it comes to melting snow and ice in and around their homes.

Here are a few tips we’ve compiled that can help you avoid the dangers that can come with the melting of snow and ice.

Inspect your roof

The build-up of snow on your roof can get very heavy and be quite dangerous.

  • We recommend you remove as much snow from your roof and eaves troughs as possible with a roof rake if it’s safe to do so. Roof rakes are designed to remove snow from all types of roofs without damaging surfaces. They have very long shafts to allow you to rake snow off your roof while safely standing on ground level. Roof rakes can be purchased at standard home hardware stores. If the roof rake is unsuccessful in removing the bulk of the snow, contact a professional to go up on your roof to remove snow build-up. Do not attempt to do this yourself.
  • Beware of ice dams, which form when water builds up behind ice blockages. Ice dams are common on roofs since the temperature can vary in different areas. Large, dense areas of icicles can be a sign of ice dams. We highly recommend contacting a professional to deal with ice dams.
  • Inspect the interior of your home for signs of potential snow-melt threats such as paint bubbles and water stains on the ceiling. These could be indications that there is too much snow on your roof and the resulting indoor damage can be severe.

Clear the surface area

  • As always, be sure to clear snow from your deck, basement stairwell, driveway and sidewalk area and to also sprinkle salt or ice melt to prevent slips and falls. Make sure any snow sitting against doors or windows is also removed.
  • Check for cracks in your home’s foundation or basement walls and seal them.
  • Clear paths for melted snow to run away from your house and into storm drains and catch basins.
  • Ensure downspouts are working properly and diverting water away from your home.

Protect the inside of your property

  • To minimize the risk of property damage from potential basement water leaks, we recommend raising valuable personal belongings off your basement floors as well as keeping these belongings away from walls.
  • Inspect your basement walls to check for signs of water penetration.
  • If you have a sump pump, we advise checking it regularly to ensure it is working properly and pumping water away from your home. It’s also a good idea to keep a battery backup for the sump pump in case of power outages.

Contact us for details on what type of damages your home is covered for and to review your insurance policy. The Insurance Bureau of Canada also has additional insurance information and tips for dealing with melting snow and ice.