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Five Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding from Nor’easters

Most of the northeast is bracing for more snow as a third nor’easter is expected to move through the Hudson Valley, threatening to deliver more frosty precipitation to an already blanketed region. As snow and rain showers continue, homeowners need to be on the lookout for another threat: basement flooding.

“We hope the worst of the weather is behind us, but this much snow and rain can pose problems, even after the winter storms have passed,” said Tommy Webber, owner of T.Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric. “Snowmelt can cause a lot of run-off in a short period of time. Once the ground is saturated, it may not take much for some homeowners to see flooding in their basements.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water, and with seasonal storms in the mix, the result is often severe spring flooding.

T.Webber offers the following tips to prevent basement flooding:

  • Look for Signs of Water – Do a walk-through, and search for any signs of water damage, especially under basement stairs. Keep an eye out for moisture on walls or floors.
  • Act Quickly – If you discover water stains or standing water, call an expert right away. If it isn’t resolved quickly and professionally, you risk more significant damage, as well as possible mold contamination.
  • Be Proactive – Check the operation of your sump pump, if you have one, to remove excess water. Also, make sure the drain and catch basin are clean. If you don’t have one but have a history of basement flooding, consider having a sump pump installed to prevent future damage.
  • Clear Gutters and Downspouts – Inspect for clogs and make sure that water is flowing away from your home and foundation.
  • Turn off Electricity – If you do encounter flooding in your basement, turn off all power sources by switching off the main breaker. Do this before entering the basement any time there is standing water. It’s best to get help from a professional to reduce electrocution risk.

“We look forward to emerging from the snow, but warmer temperatures and spring storms pose potential flooding problems for homeowners,” Webber said. “Being proactive and seeking out flooding solutions ahead of time is more convenient and affordable than dealing with a water-logged basement and destruction of property later on.”

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