We are quickly approaching the cold weather season in Lynchburg, VA. Now is the perfect time to make adjustments that will usher you into winter. Your home has vulnerable areas like the foundation and basement or crawl space, and you need to pay attention to these and other areas. The good thing is you don’t have to spend a fortune to winterize your home. Here are some simple but effective weatherproofing steps that can make a big difference once the cold weather arrives.
Grade the Yard to Reroute Outside Drainage
Your yard influences how water flows around the home. If it’s slanting toward the perimeter of the foundation, you can guess what’ll happen when it rains or snow melts. Make sure the ground has a positive grade and slopes away six inches for every 10 feet around your home. This way, groundwater or rain won’t flow back and seep into the foundation soil.
Seal Cracks and Foundation Gaps
Inspect the foundation of your Lynchburg, VA, home for foundation cracks and crevices. Any opening, no matter how small it is, has the potential to let in melting ice. Act fast before the soil freezes. Such cracks can trigger structural failure that could devastate your home. Your foundation repair contractor will tell you whether shrinking soils or a settlement is the cause of the cracks.
Clear Yard Debris
This is a no-brainer. Walk around your yard and remove rocks, small branches, wood chippings, and any foreign material. If there are dead flowers, weeds or foliage, turn these organic materials into compost instead of burning them.
Check Your Roof
Many people check their roofs in summer and spring because of the rain. But they forget winter has its fair share of precipitation. Falling ice and snow as well as debris can dislodge shingles and damage the room. Melting snow and humidity will also cause problems such as wood rot. They can also hurt your electrical and HVAC systems. Fix your leaking roof and re-bed shingles this fall, and you won’t have to worry about water pooling or leaking through the ceiling come winter.
Inspect Exterior Walls
Turn your attention to your exterior walls as these tend to develop blisters and their paint peels. Both scenarios are bad news as they might expose your home’s siding to moisture and the elements. Apply a fresh coat of paint on your siding. If it’s started deteriorating, have it replaced.
Check your garage doors and exit doors for draft problems. These fixtures can allow cold outside air into your home. To stop drafts, weatherstripping these doors and their panels is a good idea as this makes them airtight. If there are spaces or openings around your doors, re-caulk them. Check the door seal and stop molding on the sides of your garage door as well.
Clear your Gutters and Downspouts
These are vital for your exterior drainage. When they’re loose or damaged, they won’t move water away from your roof. Remove debris, falling leaves, gunk, and other objects that can cause obstructions and encourage ice dams. If they’re old, replace them with modern gutters with built-in leaf guards. Don’t forget to angle down the downspouts or even have them placed in the ground.
Lawn and Garden Maintenance
Your lawn and the garden need some TLC before winter arrives. Collect all the dead leaves strewn all over the lawn then reseed patchy areas. It’s a good idea to plant spring bulbs like daffodils and crocus as they’re hardy. Deer-proof this space with netting if you feel deer might stray and cause problems.
Prepare Your Yard Equipment
Empty your chainsaws, lawnmowers, and leaf blowers of fuel. Shut all the exterior water valves then drain your garden hose and take it inside. Don’t forget exterior pipes as they’re vulnerable to freezing and thawing. Get your snow removal tools ready. You have a short window to prep your home for the winter that’s coming. Take this time to inspect your home exterior, including your drainage and foundation. If you suspect there are issues, talk to the experts at JES Foundation Repair. We will perform a free foundation repair inspection and give you a free no-obligation quote then carry out the necessary repairs or waterproofing so your home stays protected from melting snow and ice.