snow melt

Floods – Broken Pipes and Melting Snow

Floods are a standout amongst the most widely recognized hazards in the United States, however not all floods are apparently equivalent. A few floods develop gradually, while others, for example, blaze floods, can develop in simply a couple of minutes and without noticeable indications of downpour. Moreover, floods can be nearby, affecting an area or group, or extensive, influencing whole stream bowls and various states.

However, floods can occur due to a lot of other reasons then due to naturally imposed circumstances. Two causes among others are: floods due to broken pipes and melting snow in cities. Both the cases need significant attention because they can pose as much danger to the lives of people as other naturally occurring disasters can.

Snowfall during the Fall and Winter seasons supplies the majority of water to most mountainous regions, and Wyoming is no exception. Topography, winter weather patterns, and a host of other factors can combine to produce snow-packs that can have an excess of 50 inches of water equivalent each year.

During peak periods, the location of the melting snow can have as much impact on the potential for high water as the amount of snow itself. As one might guess the presence of large amounts of snow below 7000 ft. presents the greatest threat for rapid snow melt problems. Even though flooding caused by snow melt alone is rare, other factors combined with snow melt can create out of bank flows very easily. Quick, low elevation snow melt affected by wide temperature variations, can cause flooding easily and with little warning.

snow melt floods

While it is true that flooding is rare due to snow melt alone, quick low elevation melt, because it is nearest to population centers and is most easily affected by wide temperature variations, can create out of bank flows with little warning.

Rapid snow melt was the main contributing factor of the flooding in the Wind River Basin during the early summer months of 2010 and again in 2011. Unseasonably cool spring weather and above normal snow pack, historically high in some portions of Wyoming in 2011, followed by a swift warm up caused rapid snow melt in many areas across the state.  Rivers were quickly overwhelmed by the surge of water resulting in flooding in many areas, especially in uncontrolled rivers near mountain slopes.

Similarly many instances of flooding and property damages due to water stem from winter conditions causing pipes to freeze and then burst. Frozen pipes in your home or business property can lead to extensive damages to your physical property and plumbing system.

Frozen Pipe Awareness

Frozen water pipes aren’t just expensive. They can also be extremely dangerous. During the winter, water in pipes can expand quickly as it freezes, causing the pipe to break. When the water finally starts to melt, the pipe can burst, causing extensive and costly flood damage.

broken pipe floods

Basement Floods

With greater-than-ever snow in some parts of the country, many homeowners are faced with several inches (in some cases feet) of frozen ground. And what happens to that ice when the overnight temperatures start to warm up? Water finds its lowest level and in some cases, that is your basement.

Massive floods, like the floods that damaged homes during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, did so much damage that in many cases the homes needed to be torn down. We know how mold, mildew and other materials can negatively impact the structural integrity of a home and adversely affect the health of the people who live there. Water will eventually evaporate but the damage you don’t see may slowly but surely ruin your home.

According to Flood Smart, a 1000 square foot home flooded with a mere 1″ of water can lead to over $10,000 worth of damage. Make that 6″ of flooded water and you’re looking at about $20,150 of repairs and replacements. Let’s take a look at the reasons why most basements flood and what you can do to clean it up and prevent it from happening next time.

What are the long-term issues with flood-damaged basements?

Basements that experience regular flooding will expose homeowners to mold and mildew, which can lead to eye irritation, sneezing, nasal stuffiness and skin irritation. Mold has been linked to allergies, asthma and respiratory issues.  Regular water damage to the foundation of your home can contribute to structural weakness. There are obvious costs to dealing with a flooded basement and no homeowner wants to clean up a flood multiple times. The overall value of your home can also be negatively affected by a flood. Allergens alone can contribute to as much as a 15% decline of a home’s value according to MSN Real Estate, and not disclosing water damage to your home to a potential buyer can be detrimental to the sale of your home.

How to keep home’s foundation safe from broken pipe’s water or melted snow

Depending upon your region, your budget and your own decisions, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Assess where the water is coming from
  • Note the solution and professional for each problem.

Water can come from multiple sources and damage your foundation from a number of different directions. If water is coming in through your foundation, there are several different methods to create a water barrier to your foundation in order to stop floods that it may create later on. In new construction, damp-proofing is often done to the exterior of the foundation. It’s a thick, black liquid that is painted on the exterior of the concrete. The problem with damp-proofing is that it acts like a water barrier but it is not water proof. In other words, it will successfully keep out regular moisture from the surrounding soil but will not be a protection against a massive amount of incoming water. The interior basement walls of older homes can be painted with a coat of concrete water proofing product. There are many other concrete, foundation waterproofing methods. To get the best information for your home, contact a concrete contractor, a foundation repair contractor or a contractor who specializes in waterproofing.

Water damage can cause lasting harm in as little as 48 hours, so you need a qualified water restoration professional in your home beginning water damage cleanup as soon as possible.  The sooner we can dry your home out, the less likely you are to suffer long term water damage problems.  Repairing water damage is never as simple as just wiping up a spill.  Water must be professionally extracted and disposed of.

Tips to prevent and tackle basement and melt snow flooding:

  • Move all electrical outlets or plugs to higher levels in the basement
  • Do not store valuable items in a basement with potential flooding issues
  • The ground next to your foundation should slope away from the home
  • Point gutters and downspouts to discharge water at least 5 feet away from the home
  • Plant trees at least 12 inches away from the foundation
  • Seal all windows and vents
  • Unclog gutters and downspouts
  • Waterproof the walls inside your basement with a roll-on concrete waterproofing product
  • Consider installing a sub-pump to pump out unwanted standing water
  • Address poorly-draining soil around the home by installing a French drain.
  • Call a foundation contractor to address ongoing and outstanding issues with your foundation

Only flood insurance covers flood damage

Most standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. Remember: it typically takes 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect, so get your policy now. Flood insurance is also affordable. An average flood policy costs around $600 a year, and rates start at just $129 a year for homes in moderate-to-low risk areas.

Emergency situations are unforeseen and pose a greater threat to the lives of people nowadays. with a disaster being prevalent, everything can turn into mess and garbage if you do not be considered enough to prevent it before hand. In order to better deal with the disasters as powerful and dominating as floods, action plans and response strategies have become immensely important. In order to prevent your family from suffering adverse disaster consequences, contact Crisis Prevention and Business Restoration for consultancy by calling us at: 415.891.9107 or email us at: