Clearing the snow away from a window in the foundation is important to keeping the basement dry during the winter as well as setting yourself up for success come spring. Leaving the snow against the window can add pressure to the sill and to the panes. As the snow melts against the window it can attempt to find its way through small openings, separations and cracks.
Vents from heaters, furnaces and dryers melt off the snow directly in front of the window. This can cause the bottom layer of snow (closest to the sidewalk) to become soggy and wet. Snow, being lighter, and the new water being heavier, the water will expand and find it’s own path beneath the snow. This can cause ice to form underneath the snow with little pressure, as well as allow the water to build up against the foundation.
Homes in urban areas of New England, like Boston, Providence and Worcester are especially at risk for these types of problems. However, any Urban area will typically see more of an issue. Suburban and Rural areas have more space to move the snow and keep it away from a foundation.
DIY Tip: Clear all snow and slush away from your basement windows and, if you can, away from the foundation all together.
Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make.
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