Winter is coming and that means it’s time to winterize your basement because winter can wreak serious havoc on your home if you’re not prepared. Here are five things you can do to winterize your basement:
How to winterize your basement
Basement flooding is usually associated with springtime, but your home is still susceptible in the winter due to melting snow and ice. If you have a basement, there are things you can do to keep your home protected during the winter months and even prevent potential damage when spring rolls around:
- Fix existing leaks – This is crucial when preparing your basement for winter, as any existing problems will only worsen (much worse) when the temperatures drop. During the winter, water can seep into cracks in your home and freeze. The freezing water will expand, causing the cracks to become larger, thus allowing even more water into your home. After it rains, check the perimeter of your basement, both inside and out, for pooling water, foundation cracks, and any other visible issues. If you notice any foundation issues, call a contractor and have them fixed ASAP.
- Clear your drainage systems – As the end of the fall season draws nearer, give your gutters a thorough cleaning to remove any leaves or other debris. Blockages in your gutters may cause rainwater to overflow and then leak into your basement. If you have a sump pump, get it inspected to ensure it’s in proper working condition. Pooling water around your sump pump hose may freeze during the winter and cause permanent damage to the sump pump.
- Protect your pipes – Frozen pipes are bad news; frozen water puts pressure on pipes and can cause them to crack or even burst, resulting in basement flooding. You can prevent this by insulating your pipes using special, pre-molded sleeves, heat tape, fiberglass, or other insulation methods. For more information about keeping your pipes from freezing, contact a local professional.
- Check the humidity level in the home – Basements are prone to moisture and mold growth, especially with high humidity levels. This is mainly an issue in the summertime, but it’s not uncommon for basements to remain humid during winter. Check the humidity with a humidistat, and if it reads over 50, consider running a dehumidifier. This will remove some moisture from your basement and prevent mold and other bacteria from growing.
- Service your HVAC control system – Have a specialist inspect and repair any issues in your heating system and air ducts. An efficient heating system will keep you warm and save you significant money on heating costs.
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As winter approaches, it’s important to prepare your basement for the wrath of snow, ice, and cold temperatures. With proper maintenance, your basement can be a comfortable living area all year long.
Since 1994, we’ve helped clients in Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, Nebraska, Missouri, and parts of Northeastern Kansas with foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, and concrete leveling for their homes. For foundation and drainage inspections and repairs this fall, contact the experts at Epp!