Tips to avoid spring melt damage

Nathan Liewicki
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Spring is still a few days away, but it’s clear the annual spring melt is already underway.

Now into the middle of March, snow has started to melt. There are a few ways to make sure spring run-off doesn't cause damage to your residence. 

Although melting snow and ice are easy on the eyes, SGI Canada wants to remind homeowners that they need to take steps to make sure the melt is also easy on their wallets.

One of the big issues associated with spring run-off is ice damning.

According to SGI, claims related to ice damns rose sharply in 2013. There were a total of 29 ice damning claims submitted in 2012, yet approximately 2,600 in 2013.

That is one of the reasons SGI wants the public to be aware of spring melt tips.

“Keep the amount of snow on your roof minimal,” said SGI Manager of Media Relations Kelley Brinkworth. “Use a roof rake or hire professional help to help clear snow away.”

Other tips include keeping gutters and downspouts free of snow and ice buildup so there is a path for snow to melt and ice to drain; as well as ensuring your attic is properly insulated and ventilated. This prevents heat from inside your home from leaking into the attic and causing snow on the roof to melt.

Of course, more people tend to be concerned with flooding as a result of snowmelt.

“Making sure your downspouts are extended so the melt water drains at least two metres from the foundation,” were words Brinkworth used to describe one thing homeowners can do to prevent damage. 

Other tips Brinkworth noted include checking your basement regularly for water, installing and making sure you have a working sump pump, installing a mainline sewer backwater valve and removing snow from around the foundation of the home.

Depending on your home insurance, you may or may not be covered for damages sustained by ice damning, but now matter what broker your insurance is with in Saskatchewan, flooding is not covered by insurance.

“It’s too much of a risk for an insurance broker to take on,” Brinkworth told the Times-Herald when asked why flooding is not covered by insurance. 

However, sewer backup is insurable if you have that optional coverage in your policy.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: SGI Canada, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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