Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Protecting your property from spring melt

Calgarians are acclimatized to weird weather fluctuations and the resulting environmental impacts. Spring melt is one of the perennial, yet significant, results of our meteorological circumstances.

A wet winter, a cold spring and a sudden melt can create the perfect conditions for melting snow to damage properties. All it takes to turn the yearly, gentle snow melt into a wet basement and damaged keepsakes is a poorly positioned down spout, snow pack around your home’s foundation or a clogged stormwater grate.

According to Toby Bellis of Water Services, “When it comes to damage from spring melt, simple steps can prevent complex issues. Take five or 10 minutes, walk around your property looking for snow or runoff drainage points and be sure to move anything that looks as though it could create a problem.”

Each change of season brings a new consideration for homeowners, in spring it’s wet weather. There are a number of things you can do to prepare your home in advance.

  • Make sure your downspouts are clear of snow and debris and extend at least 5 feet away from your home. Also, watch to make sure your downspouts and your neighbours’ downspouts aren’t pointed at each others’ foundations.
  • Remove snow from around your foundation
  • Ensure that your sump pump and backflow prevention devices are in place and functioning
  • Call 3-1-1 if you see a plugged storm drain or significant water-pooling in your neighbourhood
  • Call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing rapid flooding in your basement
Flooding can happen in any season and take the form of basement seepage, sewage or stormwater backup or overland flooding. The City has ways for you to be prepared and self educated on the topic. Find resources on flooding and sewer backups on The City’s website at,

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