Snow and Ice Create Flooding Dangers for Homeowners


After more than 50 inches of snow fell this month in Eau Claire, the massive piles are causing flooding concerns for homeowners.

These snow piles never stop growing but eventually it will warm up and all of this snow is going to melt and all of that water has to go somewhere; hopefully it’s not inside of your home.

It’s been a winter to be remembered, but hopefully it doesn’t leave a lasting impact on your home.

“The snow melts during the day when we get sunshine and then we get a buildup and a backwards pressure from the ice up underneath your building materials,” said Tom Hanaman, the owner of Servpro in Eau Claire.

For now, ice damming is causing damage but down the road the flooding is going to rise to the surface.

“So many of us have finished basements now and you don’t always necessarily notice when you are getting moisture, sometimes until it is way too late because in these kinds of instances this water will slowly trickle and people don’t usually find it until it is too late,” Hanaman said.

Besides just cleaning it up, there is a good chance the damage won’t be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

“That seepage through the walls and through the wells is not covered under the typical homeowner’s policy,” said Mike Parrott an agent from Magadance-Parrott Insurance Agency.

Mike Parrot from Magadance-Parrott agency in Eau Claire says the only way that surface water is covered is by purchasing flood insurance.

“The flooding problem is dealt with independently by a national flood policy,” Parrott said. “It’s just a matter about how they feel about the risk versus the premium.”

But if you do purchase flood insurance it takes 30 days before those policies go into effect. You can also take some steps to help prevent flooding such as clearing a path of snow around your home, using a roof rake to get snow off your roof, making sure all vents are not covered and checking that your sump pump is working properly.

“Everyone is talking about it now the question is who will be proactive and do something about it before you have tremendous problems with the weight and the water,” Parrott said. 

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