Spring Melt Preparedness

It’s that time of year we mostly look forward to, the end of the snow season and the start of Spring weather. However, this can mean melting above ground and defrosting from below ground, both of which can have an impact on your home and property. Being vulnerable to water damage from overland flooding can be mitigated, here are some things to consider:

Homeowner Spring Flooding Checklist

  1. If you have a sump pump, and most around here do! Test it to make sure it is working properly. A sump pump will drain excess water away from your foundation, keeping your basement dry. You may also want to consider adding a battery backup system to your sump pump in case of power failure.
  2. Check your floor drain, located in the basement of most homes. Make sure the backup trap is unobstructed and test it to make sure it is functioning.
  3. Check your basement daily throughout the season to keep watch for signs of moisture, such as water stains or musky smells. By catching any leaks early, you can prevent mold growth from threatening your health and the structural integrity of your home.
  4. Install water sensors for a high-tech alternative to monitoring moisture in your home.
  5. Shovel snow away from your home and pile it as far away from the foundation as possible.
  6. Clear snow from the roof and eavestroughs. Buildup of snow and ice can prevent melt water from draining properly, especially if you didn’t clean your eavestroughs in the fall.
  7. Check that your plants won’t hinder the seasonal water drainage around your home.
  8. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if you have flood insurance. If not, consider adding this type of coverage. It’s also a good idea to rad the fine print of your policy, and make sure that you’re insured for overland flooding and sewer backup flooding.


You might also be interested in and find some good information on this general spring time home maintenance checklist.

Any Rain Storm is a Threat

With a significant amount of accumulation between snow and ice, come spring time any level of rainfall has the potential to cause a severe flood.

Snow melt flooding can come from a standard rainstorm rather than a major severe weather event. The warmer temperatures and rainfall quickens the melting process. Therefore, your neighbourhood may be at a higher risk of flood damage.

Since every standard storm has the potential to bring snow melt flooding, the importance of preparedness is extremely high. Since every storm poses a potential flood threat throughout the Spring, having protective materials always on hand can keep your home safe and dry.

River Breakup

In addition to overland flooding from Spring rain or melting of snow and ice, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo also experiences flooding from the ice breakup of the two rivers that meet near Fort McMurray’s downtown, the Clearwater and the Athabasca. You can keep up to date on the breakup with the Municipality’s new river breakup campaign or here on the Municipality’s emergency services page.


Be proactive, stay safe and dry and enjoy Spring 2021!