Snow Melt 2017 is coming! Ready for Flooding?

Now that we’ve had our historic snow storm, big flooding is next with significant rain on tap to make things a bit more exciting….

Proactive Steps to Make Sure Your Home is Ready!


  • Starting outside your home, check the city street storm drain at the corners closest to your home and make sure that any debris is raked away and removed from the grating. If storm drains flood from debris build up, and they will, it can flood entire streets. Flooded streets can flood driveways, driveways flood homes.
  • Make sure that your gutters are cleaned out and draining properly. You’ll want to check if you have traps that all the debris is gone so the water can go where it’s supposed to go. Also make sure that you have extensions for the bottom of your gutter to drain the water away from your home if your home is not connected to the storm sewer lines. Clogged gutters can leak into a crawlspace if not cleared. Monitor all exit drains.
  • Walk around the exterior 1x/day during the melt to make sure other surprises don’t pop up i.e. standing water in your yard, standing water in your neighbors yard heading your way, watch any retaining walls for signs of weakening and make sure any vent wells for your crawlspace are cleared away and snow melt is not against the house/vent area.
  • From my inspector Ben: As freezing temps rise, water pipes in walls and crawl spaces that may have been compromised, can leak as they thaw.  Locate and monitor the water meter at the street and make sure all faucets are closed and then check meter for movement. Many leaks are pinhole sized and can exist for months before discovery. Check your meter and write down the last 3 digits. Then check back in one a hour and if any numbers have changed, you might have a leak and need to contact a plumber to locate ‘where’. Do you have a water shut off tool like this?  Get one at Home Depot so it’s always handy!
  • If any branches have hit or landed on your roof, get them removed and inspect the roof for damage after it’s cleared of snow and ice.


  • Ben recommends to check in your attic with a flash light corner to corner for signs of leaks at the underside of your roof, eaves, exit pipes and chimneys.


  • Put on old clothes and check your crawlspace for standing water and any exposed pipes for leaks.
  • If your home has a sump pump, be on the look out for the sound of it turning on and staying on.  If it’s not turning on and there is water in your crawl, you’ll need to get a plumber or contractor to check the sump.
  • If you do not have a sump pump and have standing water in you crawl, you’ll want to contact a vendor to either re-trench the crawl and direct water to the low point drain, or install a sump pump that connects to the low point drain and pulls the water out. Sump pumps are our friend!


  • From a valuables & insurance claim perspective, it’s always wise to have a written list of your furniture & valuables as well as a video recording room by room. If you were to have a claim, you’ll have visual and written proof of what you have in your home. If you live in a flood zone and there are areas in Portland where this happens, you’ll want to make a plan to remove valuables from your home before the flooding starts.
  • Keep your car filled with gas & keep an emergency kit there. I have a 72 hour kit that I keep in my car 24/7.  Check City of Portland’s list for emergency preparedness kit!  Do you have an emergency kit in your car? List of emergency contacts in case you need them? Extra cell phone charger handy?
  • Familiarize yourself with the US CORP of ARMY ENGINEERS Flood preparedness list for Portland Oregon.


If you have crawlspace water intrusion, a sump pump that is not working, gutters that are not running clear or have any plumbing issues, just call or text me and I’ll gladly send you my list of  amazing vendors for you to call.

Stay safe out there!


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