After the snow melts, the flooding will begin. Here's how to prepare

You're probably familiar with the dangers that snow and ice pose for motorists. But how about your home?

More than 73% of the United States mainland was covered by snow last week, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Water Prediction.

Soon, warmer temperatures will thaw that snow and ice, creating snowmelt runoff and increasing the risk for leaks and floods.

Unprepared homeowners, especially those in the South, where snowstorms aren't common, face the prospect of widespread damage and costly repairs.

Here are five steps you can take to limit the damage.

Check the forecast

Sudden temperature swings can cause snow to melt quickly, increasing the risk for snowmelt runoff and floods. Pay attention to the forecast to get a sense of how fast you'll need to act to prevent water damage.

Homeowners who live near rivers and lakes may need to move faster than others. That's because cold temperatures often create ice jams, which occur when pieces of floating ice build up and block the flow of water.