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Water in Basement From Melting Snow? 5 Helpful Prevention Tips

Feb 14, 2016 | Services

Each year in winter and spring, homeowners have to deal with water in their basement because of melting snow and ice. Further, as winter weather fluctuates in temperature each week, warmer days melt accumulated snow that has settled around a home’s foundation.

While winter weather and snow isn’t a problem for a majority of homes in these situations, properties that are prone to exterior water penetration problems can experience seeping water and severe interior damage.

With winter weather, prevention is always key. The same type of preventative logic is applied to how roads are cared for, how airlines operate, and how to stop melting snow from turning your dry and beautiful basement into a wintertime pool that you didn’t request.

There are a few ways for a homeowner to prevent snow from causing basement water problems — though some people don’t realize that they have a problem until it is too late and their basement is flooded.

5 Keys to Prevent Water Seepage


Ground Slope

The ground around a home’s foundation must slope away at a good and constant grade. Settled soil allows water to run towards the house, which can be a huge problem. When the weather is nice enough, take a look at your ground’s slope and correct any offending areas.


Bad Basement Seals

Interior walls don’t last long if their waterproofing seal is missing. Waterproofing measures eventually wear away, and you are left with basement walls that show signs of seepage. It’s important to check your basement walls for cracks regularly and apply new sealant when needed.


Gutter Problems

Gutters clogged with debris can lead to water overflow problems. Similarly, ice dams that form during winter cause water to back up and run down the home’s siding. Prevent these occurrences by cleaning gutters at least once a season. To counter roof ice dams, contact a roofer to institute a fix.



Though beautiful and eye-catching, trees will sometimes weaken the ground and create unnatural routes for water to travel. If you are unsure about how the trees on your property are interacting with the ground around your foundation, ask a professional basement waterproofer to inspect the area closely.


Hydrostatic Pressure

The soil around your home is paramount in stopping seepage. What’s more, extra pressure will push the soil towards your foundation and help water penetrate your basement walls. Have your soil tested for consistency, and ensure that the internal ground pressure isn’t causing a problem for your foundation by talking to a professional.


What to Do If You Discover Water

Begin by determining how extensive the water problem is. Walk around your basement and search for signs of water entry. Decide how many locations require your attention. If you must, move furniture, boxes, or other obstructions to gain better insight into the water entry.

It’s fine to attempt to dry wet portions of your basement. Carpets, walls, tiles, hardwoods, and pooling water can be dried with fans, mops, dehumidifiers, and wet/dry vacuums. If you feel that any of the wet items in your basement are ruined, remove and discard them to avoid mold and other problems.

If there is a major basement water problem, it’s best to remove any valuables from your basement as soon as possible. Then, as long as standing water isn’t in contact with electrical devices or appliances, attempt to isolate the problem. After you determine the extent of the water problem, you should then contact your insurance company and a basement waterproofing professional.

A professional who specializes in basement water remediation can assist you with your water problems. They can help you clean up your current issues and stop all future problems from happening.

If your basement floods after heavy snow and rain, or is generally a damp and messy haven for mold, we recommend working with a Washington, DC waterproofing and landscaping expert.

If you need help with your wet basement or landscape, please do not hesitate to contact us today for an estimate.

Johnson’s Landscaping Service is a family owned and operated full-service landscaping company serving residential and commercial clients of Northwest DC and Montgomery County for 50 years.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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