Winter is quickly approaching, along with possibilities of snow, the holidays, freezing temperatures, and all other aspects of the season. While preparing for the holidays especially, don’t forget to prepare your home for the harsh weather. The colder the weather, the more issues within your home, basement, or crawl space can occur, some of which result in costly repairs having to take place. Fortunately, our team at Crawl Space & Basement Technologies in Raleigh has prepared a guide to eliminate these problems and save you time and money. Here are some easy ways to prepare your home for the winter.
Keep Water Out
With heavy rains and cool weather, saturated soil may cause water to seep into your basement or crawl space, leading to mold and damage. Basement waterproofing and crawl space waterproofing before winter will keep these spaces clean, dry, and free from damage.
Check your Insulation
When the temperatures begins dropping, it’s important to check your insulation to ensure that all air leaks are thoroughly sealed, especially within your attic and basement, and that cold air is not allowed into your home. As time passes, insulation inevitably begins breaking down, causing its thermal insulating ability to be compromised. Without proper insulation, your heating bill can dramatically increase, as you attempt to keep your poorly insulated home warm. If your insulation is in need of replacing, consider using spray foam installation, which is the best on the market as of now. Spray foam installation efficiently seals cracks and prevents cold drafts from entering your home. Remember to thoroughly insulate both your walls and attics. Or, you can hire crawl space and basement insulation experts to properly complete this task for you.
Don't Forget Water Pipe Maintenance
The risk of freezing and bursting pipes during the winter increases as the temperature drops. In fact, frozen and burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during colder seasons according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. A single burst pipe can result in thousands of dollars in water damage, which is why it is crucial to winterize your outdoor plumbing pipes.
Insulate Water Pipes
Be sure to insulate all water pipes and faucets exposed to harsh elements or kept in unheated areas, such as a garage or attic. Do this by wrapping insulation around them and securing it with heat tape, newspaper, foam sleeves, or a similar object. If you have outdoor plumbing pipes located in a garage, keep your garage door closed as much as possible to maintain warmth.
Winterize Outside Faucets and Sprinkler Systems
For your exterior faucets, be sure to disconnect any attached hoses and drain them completely of water. Then, shut off the water supply altogether, or allow a small amount of water to trickle through the faucets. Even the smallest amount of running water will help to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. In addition, if you have a sprinkler system, turn off the water supply and drain it completely of water by blowing compressed air through the sprinkler lines.
Remove Leaves and Debris
While most individuals are unaware of this notion, it is of utmost importance: leaves increase your chances of water damage.
Rake Leaves and Remove them from the Ground
Whether from rain or snow, winter is a particularly wet season, which is why removing leaves from your property is crucial. Leaves prevent evaporation from occurring, and if water is not allowed to evaporate, this encourages it to soak into your yard and create groundwater. If groundwater collects and soaks through your foundation, you have a costly water damage situation on your hands. So, be sure to clear the leaves from your yard, especially those surrounding your house’s foundation,
Clean Out Your Rain Gutters
Also, be sure to remove leaves from your gutters. Your gutters are one of the main systems responsible for keeping your home dry. However, they can’t do their job if they are clogged by leaves. When leaves prevent the flow of water through your gutters, the water inevitably builds up, overflows, and pools right beside your home. This subsequently increases the chances of water soaking through your foundation and into your home.
Don't Overlook Wooden Decks and Stairs
For individuals who have wooden decks, it is also important to remove the dirt, pine needles, and of course, leaves from your deck to prevent moisture and water damage. When these objects become wet from rain or snow, they all prevent evaporation, which encourages mold and mildew growth and can lead to premature aging of the wood, resulting in rot.
When it comes to roofing materials, there are many options to choose from, such as tin sheets and asphalt shingles. However, regardless of what material your roof is crafted from, be sure to repair any leaks or missing shingles you may have. Water and snow can easily enter your home through the tiniest of cracks or crevices, which can cause water damage and other costly repairs. So, if necessary, be sure to prevent this water intrusion with some simple roof maintenance.
HVAC System Maintenance
Make sure your HVAC ducts and furnace are clean and functioning properly before winter, and the freezing cold temperatures arrive. You can do so yourself or call a technician to inspect and clean these systems for you. It is common to smell a burning odor when you first turn on your heat for the first time in the season. Typically, this is the accumulated dust burning off, however if the odor remains, contact a HVAC professional.
Repair Cracks in Doors and Windows
Replace old, crumbling caulk and upgrade your weather-stripping around your windows and doors to prevent cold air, water, and snow, from entering your home via tiny cracks. Or, if you do not already have these elements in place, install them around all of your windows and doors. It is best to use silicone caulk for the exterior, as it does not shrink and is unaffected by harsh elements.
Our Experienced Raleigh Waterproofing and Insulation Specialists Can Help You Prepare Your Home
Now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the harsh temperatures to come. Our knowledgeable team can lend a helping hand to protect your home from water damage and maintain your insulation. For assistance with prepping your home for winter, contact our crawl space and basement waterproofing and insulation specialists today. You can schedule a consultation by calling 919-847-7072 or by completing our online contact form.