The spring melt can be tough on our homes. Most of us are happy to see the snow disappear, just as long as our basements don’t flood! The plumbing systems, ceilings, walls, and flooring of RTM homes can all take a hit if not properly maintained when the snow melts as quickly as it does in Saskatchewan. Our particularly long winters make for great accumulations of snow, and your home may be vulnerable to water damage. 

Here are 8 steps you can take to prepare your RTM home for spring: 

  1. If you have a sump pump, test it to make sure it is working properly. A sump pump will drain excess water away from your foundation, keeping your basement dry. Find a step-by-step guide to testing your sump pump here. 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. Here is a guide to testing your sewer flood drain. 
  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 if you landscape or garden around your house. 
  8. Find out if you have flood insurance. If not, purchase some! Read the fine print of your policy, and make sure that you’re insured for overland flooding and sewer backup flooding. 

Land Grading is Everything

Perhaps the most important flood prevention comes with the land grading of your lot before the foundation is poured. While you can always take steps to prepare your home for spring and reduce the risk of flooding or water damage, there is no amount of preparation that will protect your home if the land was not properly sloped when your foundation was laid. Your ready to move home builder or custom home builder will know how to grade the land with appropriate sloping away from the foundation to prevent flooding. Local specifications and standards vary, but generally a minimum of a 5% slope is required to keep water away from the walls of your home. This is foundational to the longevity of your RTM home for many springs to come!

If you have an RTM home in Saskatoon, Kindersley, or Swift Current and you’d like further advice on flood-proofing it, please get in touch with us.

Happy Spring, Saskatchewan!