Protecting a cabin against snow melt
Q. I own a mountain cabin built against a side hill. By early spring the lower floor is saturated from snow melt. I was advised to shovel the snow at the back of the cabin, away from the foundation, so that when the snow melted it could drain away from the cabin. However, this has not corrected the problem. Other than raise the entire cabin, which is extremely costly, what can I do to stop the penetration of the snow melt? Betty Brandt Pomona, Calif.
A. If the foundation wall against the hill side of the cabin is masonry, waterproof it from the inside with a process that is equal to a product made by Sealwall Products Inc., 36300 Lakeland Blvd., Eastlake, Ohio 44094. Phone; (216 ) 951-3445. Follow the labeled directions precisely. If the masonry foundation is capable of being waterproofed, you will have stanched the snowmelt problem from the inside.
Otherwise, attack the problem from the outside. Restrain, gutter, or divert the melted snow so that it runs away from, rather than toward, the cabin. This will take some machine or hand excavation and grading sufficient to accomplish the required pitch.
After the proper gradients are established, pave the area for a few feet next to the cabin foundation.
Mound up the last foot or so of the paving against the foundation.
These steps will compel the snow water to move away from, rather than toward, the cabin.