Prep Your House to Avoid Spring Melt Problems

Stock Ice Melting Off Roof

As the days are rapidly getting longer, Alaska’s temperatures are lagging behind and much of the state is projected to be below normal temperatures through mid-April

Couple this with snowpack levels across the state of Alaska currently sitting at 123% of normal and households across the state could be in for a wet spring when temperatures finally rise. 

AHFC has a few tips to prepare your house ahead of a possible big spring melt. 

Check Your Crawlspace for Moisture

Moisture in a crawlspace can lead to structural damage and mold growth if not controlled. Check both the ground and your foundation walls for any evidence of moisture seeping in. 

Sump Pump Maintenance

If your crawl space has a sump pump already installed, verifying it is in good working order is an important step ahead of the spring thaw. If your crawlspace doesn’t have a sump pump and there is evidence that moisture has previously seeped through the ground, consider installing a sump pump. Below are steps you can take to make sure your sump pump is in good working order

  • Unplug the unit from the power supply before performing any maintenance.
  • Clean the basin that the sump pump sits in, remove any large or loose debris.
  • Remove the sump pump and check for damage or corrosion.
  • Clean the sump pump inlet screen. Located at the bottom of the unit, this keeps debris from getting inside and causing damage.
  • Inspect the float switch and the check valve to make sure they both operate freely.
  • Check the power source. Most sump pumps are plugged into a GFCI outlet. Test the reset button and verify your unit is receiving power.
  • Check the drain lines and the discharge pipe. It should be clear of obstructions and discharging water at least 20 feet from your home.
  • After placing the unit back in its basin and reconnecting to the power source, test it out by pouring water into the basin until it triggers the unit to turn on. Verify that the float switch is functioning by slowly pouring in water. The float should rise freely with the water level and turn the unit on, then off again after discharging the water down.

drainage and downspouts

  • Check your drainage around your house. Snowmelt should run away from your foundation, not towards it. If there are spots where water will pool around the foundation, be prepared to shovel out a trench to direct it away from the house.
  • Check gutters and downspouts for damage and make sure water is able to flow freely.  

Preventive maintenance

With a little preventive maintenance you can be prepared for when the snow and ice melt – without a big mess.