Porch.com Shares Tips for New England Homeowners Facing Frozen Pipes and Potential Flooding

Porch, the Home Network, Provides Tips on What Precautions to Take Post Winter Storms

SEATTLE, Feb. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Porch.com (http://porch.com), the home network for homeowners and home professionals, today shared advice on what types of damage homeowners in New England should be cautious of in the aftermath of harsh winter weather.

"With historic winter storms bombarding the New England area, many homeowners are faced with heavy snow on their roofs, ice dams in their gutters, and tall piles of shoveled snow or snow drifts," explains Anne Reagan, Editor in Chief of Porch. "And when the snow and ice melts as the weather warms up, excess water can possibly flood properties and overwhelm drainage systems. Frozen pipes also become an issue as temperatures warm up as well."

Why do basements flood?

When the weather warms, the copious amount of melting snow and frozen pipes can lead to flooding through damaged foundation, unsealed basement windows, and weakened plumbing infrastructure.

  • Foundation: Depending upon the age of your home and the area in which you live, your foundation is most likely either poured concrete or stacked concrete blocks. Over time homes settle and shift, sometimes compromising the structural solidity of the foundation. Small fissures form and can be a source for water to pour in.
  • Windows and Vents: Another source of water damage is through basement windows (whose sealants fail over time), crawlspace vents (the vents that allow air to circulate under the home), and overly saturated soil surrounding the home. A foundation contractor will be able to assess specific issues.
  • Plumbing: Water heaters, washing machines and other appliances are often located in the basement and frozen pipes or leaky pipes can lead to serious damage.

Who should I call when my basement floods?

If the damage is significant you may be in the situation to hire several types of professionals.

  • Flood Cleanup Crew: Crews can remove water-damaged items and clean for mold and mildew.
  • Plumbers: You may need to install a sub-pump to actively pump out and remove water (this is especially important for basements that flood on a regular basis).
  • Landscapers: You may need to install French drains, for which you'll want to hire a landscaper.
  • Electricians: If you have a lot of electrical items that may have been exposed to water, call an electrician immediately and do not attempt to stand in water while touching any electrical equipment.  
  • Appliance Repair: Appliances that have been sitting in water should be assessed by a repairperson before you operate them.
  • Foundation Repair Contractors: For basements that have constant dampness or other foundation-related issues, hire a foundation repair contractor.

DIY tips to prevent basement flooding:

  • Move all electrical outlets or plugs to higher levels in the basement
  • Do not store valuable items in a basement with potential flooding issues
  • Plant plants and boarders at least 12 inches away from the foundation
  • Seal all windows and vents
  • Unclog gutters and downspouts
  • Waterproof the walls inside your basement with a roll-on concrete waterproofing product
  • Make sure your gutter downspouts are placed at least 5 feet away from your foundation

For homeowners who decide to hire a foundation specialist, they can visit Porch's City Pages that will direct them to professionals that their neighbors and friends have used. The links below will take homeowners to Porch's foundation specialist specific City Pages:

  1. Boston, MA
  2. Lowell, MA
  3. Providence, RI
  4. Manchester, NH
  5. Burlington, VT
  6. Concord, NH
  7. Worcester, MA 
  8. Springfield, MA
  9. New Haven, CT
  10. Stamford, CT
CONTACT: Lauren Kellas
         (425) 503-2738

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Source: Porch.com