Posted April 10, 2023 5:08 PM ET
Regina residents are coping with the spring melt around their homes in a variety of ways, including using sump pumps. (Stefanie Davis/CTV News)
Temperatures are rising across Saskatchewan, which means residents are dealing with melting snow and ice around their properties.
A homeowner in the Lakeview neighborhood has to pump a large amount of water from his driveway every spring.
“I have to move the water past the pile of ice and snow to the downspout. Every year we get that because there’s a low point where the sidewalk sinks,” said resident Trevor Aikman.
“If I remember to do it when [the snow] thaw, it’s not a big headache. It’s just a few hoses, an extension cord and a sump pump, which I’m glad I have.
“If I didn’t have it, it would be a nightmare.”
To avoid flooding and damage, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has tips for homeowners and renters to keep in mind.
“We want to do what we can to keep the snow while it melts – the water out of your home and out of your basement,” SGI spokesman Tyler McMurchy said.
According to SGI, damage prevention can start with the roof.
“If you still have a fair amount of snow on your roof, make sure your downspouts are extended two meters from your foundation so all that water drains away from your foundation and not into your basement,” McMurchy said.
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Snow accumulation should be raked around the perimeter of the roof to ensure that there is no water accumulation. If it can be done safely, McMurchy suggests clearing debris from gutters so water can drain smoothly.
SGI also recommends shoveling any snow or ice away from a home’s foundation.
“Shovel it so that when it melts, it doesn’t end up in your basement through the cracks in your foundation,” McMurchy said.
Finally, SGI recommends checking the grading angle of the backyard to make sure water is draining away from the house rather than towards it.
“If you see the grading isn’t conducive to the water doing it, make a plan to fix it in the spring when all the snow is gone,” he said.
The number of complaints received by SGI each year may vary.
“It varies depending on the nature of the winter we’ve seen,” McMurchy said.
“No one wants to see their property damaged or have to go through the experience of having to file an insurance claim to replace their property. There are certain situations that are not covered by insurance – if it seeps in your foundation, most home insurance policies do not cover it.
For many farmers in the province, the spring melt is welcome.
“In areas of the province that have snow, we are looking for things to warm up so that we can melt and accelerate the runoff so that we can be ready to be in the field for that May 1 deadline. Ian Boxall, the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, said in an interview last week.
“We are in good shape. Hopefully everyone will have adequate humidity in the spring.
The City of Regina and SGI also recommend cleaning residential snow drains to ensure a smooth flow of water along streets.
Storm sewer locations can be found on the city’s website.