How to prevent water damage as snow melts - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

How to prevent water damage as snow melts

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MADISON (WKOW)—Warmer temperatures are on the way, which is mostly good news, but the melting snow and ice can cause water damage in homes.

“The ground's still going to be frozen and all the snow is melting away and it's going to be coming right to people's basements,” said Doug Wilken, a master plumber at Capitol Plumbing Company.

In fact Wilken says the calls are already coming in, in part, because the extreme cold this winter damaged pipes and potentially sump pumps.

“Some people actually have their sump pumps run underground and since it's been so cold, the frost has gotten deeper than normal,” Wilken said. “It can wind up cracking them and then they think that their pump is pushing away and actually it's not.”

Wilken recommends taking a garden hose and testing your pump to make sure the discharge pump is dumping water away from the house.

“A lot of them, it's a hidden issue that people don't see until it's too late,” Wilken said.

And it's not just flooding in the basement homeowners need to be concerned about. Condensation can form in the attic when the warm air from the home, meets that attic's cold air.

“And that's causing frosting and mold on the other side of the roof now,” said Marc Ganser with Ganser Company.

That mold can spread quickly and what would have been couple hundred dollars to fix, ends up costing thousands. So Ganser recommends checking your attic. Look for anything fuzzy and black or wet spots on the wood. He says the problem can be fixed with insulation or ventilation.

“This is a soffit on a home and it's designed to bring cool air up in to this attic cavity so that any heat loss that comes from the house because of a lack of insulation, doesn't hit a cold roof deck and create frosting and condensation,” Ganser said.

Ganser adds that even new homes can be at risk for mold and it’s best to check and catch it early.

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