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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Causes of winter flooding and how to steer clear of flood damage

1/18/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Carrollton provides flood restoration services after winter flooding damages Plano, TX, homes, and businesses.

Homeowners and property managers need to be aware of flood risks, as well as how to prepare for flooding and how to secure flood restoration services. Flooding is often associated with creeks, rivers, and lakes overflowing their banks in the early spring. Late summer and early fall bring to mind tropical storms pummeling the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The idea that flooding is limited to early spring or late summer, and early fall is a misconception. Flooding is a year-round risk, including the wintertime. Winter has its share of severe weather. Heavy snowfall, fast snowmelt, and extended periods of rainfall can produce winter flooding, and these cold-weather floods create serious risk hazards for property and lives. In February of 2021, much of Texas was blasted with record-low temperatures, ice, and snow that left a large area of the state without electricity when the power grid failed.

What causes winter flooding?

In the past, North Texas has experienced a wide range of rainfall during the winter months. In 1944, no precipitation was recorded during the month of January. In contrast, 7.35 inches of rain fell in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in January 2012. Occasionally, the area will have strong thunderstorms during the winter months.

Sudden thaws of heavy snow and ice can cause severe flooding in the North, Midwest, and some Southern states that are downriver of the thaw. Residents in these regions of the US must keep abreast of weather patterns and rainfall to stay safe when the floodwaters finally reach their communities. North Dallas usually receives several inches of snow each year, but the snow melts very quickly, causing only minor issues. However, the snow and deep freeze event of 2021 is a reminder that vigilance is the best policy.

How to avoid flood damage

The conditions causing flooding are sometimes enormous in scope, making flooding inevitable. However, homeowners can take steps to protect against flooding. With the changing seasons from fall to winter, inspect the areas of the home listed below. Inspection and repairs help protect the property during periods of snow, ice, and heavy rainfall.

  • Inspect and correct drainage around the foundation of the home.
  • Inspect the area around the foundation for potential drainage issues.
  • Clean out debris from gutters several times a year, especially during periods of heavy leaf loss during the fall and after heavy winds and rainfall. A severe thunderstorm can choke gutters with leaves, pine needles, and sticks. Downspouts should extend a minimum of two to three feet beyond the side of the home. The ground should slope away from the foundation at least one inch per foot for six to ten feet to prevent water from pooling next to the foundation or flooding the basement or crawl space through the window wells.

Check the sewer backup valve

Winter is the wettest time of the year for some regions of the country. Extended periods of rainfall or a quick thaw can overwhelm the municipal sewer system. The result is a sewage backup in the home. Prevent sewage backup by installing a backflow preventer valve in the sewer line, and inspect the valve once a year to ensure the device is functioning properly.

Test the sump pump system

A sump pump keeps the basement and crawl space from becoming swamps during periods of heavy rain or excessive snow melt. Every sump pump should have a battery-powered backup system if the power goes out. Keep the sump area cleaned out. Check the system by pouring several gallons of water into the collection area. The pump should fire right up and evacuate the water from the sump.

Keep an eye on the basement walls

Make a habit of inspecting basement walls regularly. Seal all cracks on the interior walls. This measure will help prevent water from seeping through the walls. Consider waterproofing the exterior foundation with a waterproof sealant approved for that application.

Bonus tip: Pre-qualify SERVPRO as the dedicated water damage, flood damage, and storm damage cleanup and restoration company. A team can be on the scene in about an hour to begin the quick cleanup and rapid response. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, the professionals at SERVPRO utilize industry-leading equipment, cutting-edge technologies, and the most advanced cleaning techniques. All cleaning products are EPA-approved. The team will sanitize and deodorize the home.

Contact SERVPRO of Carrollton to learn more about flood restoration services in Carriage Hill, Plano, TX. The team can be reached by phone at (972) 446-0383 or by email at office@SERVPRO10952.com.

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