As the leaves begin to turn in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland each fall, homeowners know that colder weather is right around the corner. While you’re hanging spooky decorations this Halloween or planning your Thanksgiving menu, don’t forget to check off your fall maintenance list to get your home ready for the holiday season.
To protect your basement from winter weather, reduce your home heating costs, and ensure your home is ready for winter, follow these nine fall winterizing tips. From minimizing pests to reducing mold, getting your basement ready for winter is a simple and effective way to protect your biggest financial investment, your home. Whether you live in Baltimore or D.C., the Outer Banks or Appomattox, these fall maintenance tips will help winterize and waterproof your basement, and keep your family warm and dry this year.
Throughout the east coast, homeowners from North Carolina to Maryland have seen warmer temperatures and extreme storms impact their areas throughout 2020. This winter, will we continue to experience higher and lower temperatures than normal? Whatever the winter months have in store for us this year, it’s best to prepare in advance for colder temperatures to reduce the chance of costly leaks and flooding due to burst pipes and older insulation that’s not protecting your home from the elements as well anymore. To reduce energy costs by improving your home’s insulation and HVAC outputs, here are a few common winterization tips for fall to help protect your home into the new year.
Check For and Repair Any Leaks and Cracks
A small investment in time and resources to get your home ready for the changing season can help save you a lot of money on maintenance costs in the long run. Water damage is one of the costliest things to repair in your home, and we know that colder temperatures bring burst pipes to homes throughout the northeast. To help protect your home from water damage, check from top to bottom this fall to identify and fix any leaky pipes before the problem can grow. Even a small leak can attract pests, mold and mildew growth, especially in low-traffic areas like attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
While checking for water leaks in your basement, if you identify the smell of mildew or find standing water, your basement may need additional flood protections before winter. To ensure moisture isn’t entering the home through cracks in your foundation, schedule a professional foundation inspection this fall. Standing water or moisture in the basement can attract pests and encourage unhealthy mold and mildew growth. Identifying and fixing foundation issues before they grow will help you save money and protect your basement from winter weather.
Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Another scary part of winter for homeowners is a major rise in heating costs. If you’re looking to reduce your energy consumption to help protect the environment and reduce your bills this winter, here are some tips for insulating your home. First, find and fix any air leaks around doors and windows that are allowing cold air in and warmer air to escape. You can find insulation issues by running your hand along windows and doors to check for a change in temperature. Fill gaps between windows, doors and exterior walls with caulk both inside and outside the home to help reduce your heating costs. In the basement, ensure your windows are covered with curtains or plastic film to keep warm air inside.
More than half of our energy use in the U.S. in our homes is from heating and cooling. To reduce your own carbon footprint by minimizing energy use and reduce your heating bills this winter, consider the following additional tips:
- Replace furnace filters
- Purchase an EnergyStar efficient gas furnace
- Add a smart thermostat and program it to reduce energy consumption at night and when you’re not at home by lowering temperatures
Invest in Effective Insulation and Waterproofing Methods
Finally, one of the most important things to prepare this fall is your basement’s pipes and insulation. To reduce the chance of frozen or burst pipes from changing weather this winter, insulate the pipes in your basement with foam insulation. Improving the insulation in your crawl space can also help reduce heating costs, especially if you use thermal insulation. Thermal insulation can also help keep water out of the basement. In addition, keep heating bills low by sealing exposed ductwork with aluminum tape.
For added protection against burst pipes and other water damage in your basement, consider these professional waterproofing and flood protections:
- Interior drains
- Flood vents
- Sump pump with backup battery
Waterproofing your home’s basement can help reduce costly maintenance from water damage caused by broken or burst pipes and damaging weather conditions this winter. For more information and a free inspection and estimate on basement waterproofing, foundation repairs, and crawl space insulation, contact JES Foundation Repair today.