Virginia, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina homeowners know that owning a home can be a costly venture. Annual maintenance, however, is an expense that can help save you a lot of money in the long run. Identifying and fixing small problems before they become big ones and creating an annual home maintenance schedule can help reduce costly repairs. From Richmond to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks to Appomattox, harsh weather conditions and seasonal storms can cause major damage impacting homes. That’s why it’s important to follow through with annual home maintenance calendars. From spring storms to winter weather, here are a few tips on protecting your most valuable investment from seasonal weather.
Summer flooding can be costly for homeowners
As the temperatures climb each summer, so does the humidity in Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas of the east. The rise in moisture levels in the air can affect homes as water seeps inside. It can especially impact basements, causing water damages that are costly to repair. From pests to mold growth, basement water damage can also bring about even bigger problems.
Here are some important steps to take to help protect your basement and home from water damage in the summer, including flooding from summer storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events:
- Identify and fix leaky windows and doors, especially basement window wells
- Insulate basement windows with caulk and add extra fill around exterior walls and windows to reduce moisture seepage
- Add a dehumidifier and basement fans to improve airflow
- Identify cracks in the home’s foundation and fix them immediately
- Install a sump pump with a backup battery to protect against flooding during a power outage
- Add flood vents and interior drainage to the basement to reduce flood damages
From leaky windows to a damaged foundation, there are many ways moisture can get inside your home in the summer. Wet soil conditions can impact the amount of moisture seeping through your home’s foundation into the basement or crawl space. Waterproofing your home with added insulation, installing a dehumidifier, and improving air circulation can help minimize the costly effects.
Drought conditions are harmful to the foundation
We know that droughts can impact healthy soil conditions in an area experiencing lower rain levels than usual, often affecting crops and wildlife. Did you know that drought conditions can also cause foundation damage to homes? One way to reduce the effects of dry soil levels impacting your home is to keep the lawn and yard watered (but not overwatered) during a drought.
How does dry weather affect your home? Unhealthy soil conditions can impact a foundation by increasing the effects of foundation settlement and foundation heave on the home. As soil levels rise or fall underneath a home over time, the foundation can be impacted. Dry soil conditions can impact the amount of gas and pressure built up under a home’s foundation and increase the damage caused.
Now you know that dry conditions can impact a home’s foundation as much as wet ones, if not more. That’s why it’s important to ensure your yard is watered regularly if your area is experiencing a drought. To keep your foundation healthy, do not overwater the area around the home’s foundation and exterior walls. To reduce the effects of overwatering, ensure your home’s drainage is working properly and water flows directly away from the home, without pooling nearby.
To maintain healthy soil conditions and reduce water waste, consider adding a smart irrigation system that tracks and responds to changing local weather conditions. In addition, completing regular lawn maintenance, including pruning trees and removing dead trees and damaged limbs will help protect your home from storms and other weather-related damage this winter.
Protect your basement against winter weather
Virginia and D.C. homeowners can usually expect at least one snowstorm per year. Even when the snow does not fall, however, freezing temperatures throughout the area can cause burst pipes, water damage, and higher heating bills for homeowners. To lower heating costs this year, add insulation to your basement or crawl space to keep the warm air in. Installing a smart thermostat and energy-efficient HVAC system can also help lower your heating bills in the winter and air conditioning bills in the summer.
Ensuring your basement is well insulated and the temperature levels properly regulated is your best defense against water damage from burst pipes this winter. In addition, fall is a good time to check your roof for small issues that could become much bigger during a winter storm. From heavy snowfalls to high winds, winter weather can be hard on roofs, fences, and other exterior areas. Ensuring you keep up with your annual home maintenance schedule this fall can help. For help preparing your home against winter storms this year, contact the experts at JES Foundation Repair for a free foundation, basement, or crawl space inspection to help you identify where your home needs extra protection from weather damage.