It seems like taking care of your home is a never-ending process, but you must have your home ready for the winter months. We just reached fall, but winter will soon be coming around the corner. Winter can be long with harsh temperatures, big snowfalls, and other miserable weather and it’s time to get to winterizing.
Winterizing: Take Care of the Outside
While the weather is still relatively nice, make sure the outside of your home is ready for Old Man Winter. This is a good time to clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves, frisbees, and other things that may clog them. If your gutters are clogged, melting snow won’t properly drain and could run down alongside your foundation walls. This can cause damage to the foundation, in addition to potential flooding of your basement or crawl space.
Clear leaves and debris from around the outside walls of your home. These leaves can trap water and snow against your foundation, which can lead to cracks or worse. If you have outdoor faucets, make sure that hoses are removed and that either the water is shut off to the faucet or you have a frost-proof spigot. If an outdoor faucet freezes, the split can occur inside your home, flooding your basement or wherever the pipe breaks.
Once you have the outside ready for the winter chill, you can concentrate on the inside of your home.
Winterizing: Take Care of the Inside
Your home is probably nice and cozy in the winter, but there are things you can do to make it better and to protect your home from foundation damage.
Make sure that your pipes won’t freeze. We mentioned above about protecting your pipes attached to outdoor faucets, but your indoor pipes can freeze and burst, also. If pipes are on an outside wall, make sure they are wrapped to keep them insulated. If they are inside cabinets or closets, open the doors during severe cold blasts. A broken pipe is never fun, but dealing with it during below-freezing temperatures is no picnic.
Your home is your castle, but it doesn’t need to feel like a drafty, medieval home. Caulk around windows and apply weatherstripping around doors and windows. Also, make sure that cold air isn’t coming through electrical outlets. There are a variety of DIY products that will keep cold air where it belongs.
You can also check with your local power company to see if they can perform an energy saving audit. They will inspect your home and give you a list of ways that you weatherproof your home and lower your energy bills. They may suggest new insulation, programmable thermostats, new windows or weatherstripping. Spending a little money and time now will save you a lot of money down the road and may protect your home from damage due to cold weather.
Spend a Little, Save a Lot
Foundation repairs can be expensive, so take some time and effort to protect your home now by “winterizing” your house. Freezing water outside of your home in the soil can cause cracks in your foundation walls or can even cause them to bow or lean. Melting snow can enter cracks in your foundation walls. If the water refreezes, it can cause the cracks to expand, causing more problems.
There are many solutions for foundation damage, give the experts at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry a call and we’ll help you make sure your home is stable and safe all year round.