With wintertime just around the corner it is important to secure your basement, or crawl space, from cold temperatures and ice. Winterizing these areas in your home can lower energy costs and protect your home from various types of damage and water intrusion. Below are a few ways in which you can safeguard your basement and crawl space for the winter months.
Cleaning gutters and extended downspouts
Even though gutters and downspouts are not part of the basement or crawl space, when they get clogged, they can cause water intrusion in your home. When gutters become clogged, water can overflow from the gutters and create a puddle next to your home. Having a large amount of water next to the foundation of your home makes it possible for water to force its way into your basement or crawl space through cracks or gaps in the foundation itself.
Cleaning your gutters twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, allows you to avoid the buildup of ice and water which can damage your roof or siding. It also might be beneficial to remove any low hanging branches and clear your roof of any debris. Having extended downspouts put in at least 4 feet away from your home to stop water from getting into your basement or crawl space can significantly help decrease the likelihood of water coming into your home. It’s advisable to look into hiring a waterproofing contractor to install extended downspouts for your home.
Inspect your foundation and fix any foundation cracks
Before winter starts, it is worthwhile to inspect your home’s foundation. Try walking around your home and make sure the soil slopes away from your foundation. If it doesn’t, it might be a good idea to look into adding soil to gain the slope needed to keep water away from your foundation.
Cracks in your home’s foundation can allow water to get inside your basement or crawl space. In winter, the freezing and thawing of water can make small cracks in your foundation wall bigger. Foundation cracks should be repaired by a concrete crack injection contractor or waterproofing contractor to keep the water, mold, and moisture out.
It is essential to keep your pipes protected from the freezing temperatures so that your home’s pipes don’t burst or cause water damage. The closer your home’s pipes are to an exterior wall, the more important it is to protect them. There are pipe warmers and wraps that can protect your pipes from the cold temperatures. Ask your local waterproofing specialist to aid you with protecting your pipes today.
Sealing basement windows and crawl space vents
It is important to inspect around your basement windows to ensure they are not allowing water to come into your basement. If you see gaps around your basement windows it is recommended to seal them with caulk to prevent air and water from coming into your basement.
It is crucial to note that sealing crawl space vents with a vapor barrier and insulation will also aid in stopping moisture, mold, and water intrusion from coming into the crawl space.
Exposed ductwork, within a basement or crawl space, that is uninsulated should be sealed and insulated. When ductwork is insulated and sealed it can help save on energy costs, help your home be more comfortable, and can help improve your indoor air quality. We also advise insulating your foundation walls in your home so that your water pipes don’t freeze or burst. You can easily hire a vapor barrier installer, or a waterproofing expert, that specializes in sealing and insulating basements and crawl spaces.
Preventing your sump pump discharge from freezing
During the winter months, it is normal for a sump pump to run when water from melted snow and rain accumulate. When this happens, it’s important to make sure the discharge line is clear so that the water can exit the basement or crawl space. A buried discharge line can get clogged with snow and ice during the winter months, if this happens, the sump pump will work harder and can overheat or not work at all.
If you’re worried about your sump pump discharge line freezing, you can add an anti-freeze device, such as the IceGuard discharge line protection system. This will allow water to exit the discharge line even if it freezes or clogs. Contact your local waterproofing contractor about adding IceGuard to your basement or crawl space waterproofing system.
If you’re in an area where there is a lot of snow or ice, please consider some of the ideas included above. If you require a professional waterproofing company, contact Schmitt Waterproofing, a Better Business Bureau A+ rated company, serving the Buford, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Flowery Branch, Cumming, Gainesville, Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Duluth, Dawsonville, Canton, Ball Ground, Sandy Springs, and Dunwoody areas in Georgia. We have years of experience and are waterproofing experts. Please contact us online or by phone by calling 404-268-1040. To see more information about us follow us on Facebook.