Published on March 21, 2022

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Spring Thaw: 4 Problem Areas at Home


Each spring, the warming temperatures can lead to water seepage. Keep an eye on these 4 spots in your home to identify seepage and even prevent it!

April showers bring May flowers… and the looming threat of water seepage in your home. Even if your home insurance includes this type of coverage, it’s best to know how to prevent it!

This is why L’Unique General Insurance came up with these helpful tips!

1. The Roof

Is your roof sloped? Does snow or ice tend to accumulate? If so, clear the edges to remove some of the weight and prevent the formation of ice dams. By creating a path, you enable the water to flow off the roof—rather than accumulate and seep into your home… causing damage.

Do icicles tend to form along the edges of the roof? This is a sign of poor insulation and/or ventilation because the warm air escaping your home melts the snow and the water freezes again upon contact with the cold air. This is the coldest part of the roof because it extends beyond the walls.

Icicles are a tell-tale sign of issues with the roof. Schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible to determine whether repairs or reinsulating is needed.

2. Check the Downspouts

Water from the downspouts can cause damage to your home’s foundation and structure, as well as increase humidity in the basement.

Even though you remove the dead leaves from the gutters every fall, they can still get clogged.

Be sure to remove ice and other debris, like asphalt from your shingles, to avoid clogs and spillovers.

Pour a stream of water into the gutters using a hose.

Make sure the water from the downspout flows at least 1.5 m away from the foundation. If not, add an extension.

Good to Know

Home insurance does not normally cover damage caused by poorly installed or maintained gutters. Double-check with your insurance broker.

Taking care of your gutters will help you avoid water seepage, related damage and unexpected expenses!

3. Basement Windows and Doors

Most seepage occurs through windows and doors. Are yours watertight? Inside the house, check all windows located at ground level for signs of seepage.

Check them from the outside too. Are their frames in good shape? Do you see cracks? Reseal them, if necessary.

Ice and snow that melts near basement windows can seep into the house during the thawing period. Make sure the water flows away from the house. Consider removing the snow from the windows and window wells altogether. This should help you avoid problems.

4. Check the Siding and Foundation

Is the siding made of wood? Is it cracked, damaged or rotten? Consider these as signs of water seepage. You’ll have to locate the source of the problem and correct it.

Inspect the foundation. Is it cracked? Is the weeping tile doing its job? Since concrete absorbs humidity, shovel the snow away from the foundation.

When your yard slopes towards your home or installations, like a garage, consider changing the grade. Melting ice or snow should never flow towards the walls. If the problem occurs every year, consult a building or landscaping specialist.

Water is the source of all life… and water damage.

Water damage is one of the leading causes of home insurance claims. As the snow melts away, keep an eye on the usual suspects:

  • High humidity inside the house
  • Staining, chipping or blistering on walls or the ceiling
  • Cracks in the foundation or mould in the house
  • Musty smell in the basement
  • Water pooling in the same place after rainfall

So, do you think your home is at risk? If yes, then don’t store any valuables or papers near these problematic areas.

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses and give you advice!