Melting Snow is Expected in New York
13 Points to Keep in Mind
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There is snow and ice on the ground, and it is forecast to be warm. Please keep these nine points in mind to help prevent water penetration into your building.
- Gutters may be clogged with leaves and debris. As the snow starts to melt, water may drip over the edge of the gutter, causing water penetration. Gutters should be cleaned out.
- If the building has a flat roof, make sure that the roof drains are clear.
- Drains at the exterior entrance to the basement may be blocked by leaves, debris, and snow. These drains should be clean.
- Watch for snow and ice near exterior doors. Snow and ice can direct water toward the door, causing the water to enter the building.
- If you have sliding doors (including condo and co-op apartments with balconies), make sure that snow and ice are not causing water to accumulate at the base of the door.
- If the building has a flat roof with a structure protruding through the roof (such as a bulkhead, mechanical room, or living space), make sure that the water can drain away from the through-the-roof structure.
- If there is rooftop equipment (such as a heating/cooling unit) with ductwork into the building, make sure that water is not accumulating around the equipment.
- Driveway drains may be clogged by leaves, debris, and snow. Make sure these drains are cleaned before the storm.
- Street drains may be clogged or blocked. A non-functional street drain can allow water to drain onto your property. If possible, make sure that these drains are clear. Important: Watch out for traffic and wear a reflective safety vest any time you are working on a public street.
- Some buildings have yard drains. It is unlikely that you can clean the yard drains or that the water will flow toward the drains.
- If there are sump pumps, make sure that they are functioning properly and that the discharges are not blocked.
- There are probably mounds of snow piled around your building, and sections of driveways, walkways, patios, decks, etc. that are covered with ice. This snow and ice can affect water flow and drainage. You should monitor these areas, although it may not be possible to correct problems.
- Watch for falling snow and ice. Once it starts to rain, the snow will be much heavier than it is now.
Unfortunately, with all of the snow and ice, there may be nothing that you can do to prevent water penetration. The above steps will help, but will not prevent all snow-related water penetration.
Be sure and exercise appropriate caution when checking these items. There are potential dangers (for example falling off a ladder or being injured by a passing car of plow). Wear a reflective safety vest when working near where vehicles may be driving. Be sure to seek professional help as appropriate.
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Heimer Engineering performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. We do not perform inspections or recommend Inspectors or Engineers in the areas outside of the State of New York. We also provide Licensed Professional Engineer consultation services including hurricane and storm damage and damage from adjoining construction. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.
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