The hard winters of North Dakota and Minnesota are notoriously hard on a property’s foundation, drainage, and basement or crawl space. Keeping your crawl space or basement dry can, in fact, be a real uphill battle. Thankfully, a little maintenance in the fall can go a long way toward ensuring that you don’t find standing water in your home.
These quick and simple maintenance tasks are generally easy to take on and should not take more than a few hours, if that. Nonetheless, these small jobs make a huge difference to your home’s ability to withstand the winter precipitation and spring thaw, when they come.
Your gutters and drains are your home’s first line of defense against excess hydrostatic pressure and water pooling around your home’s foundation. Keeping them clear is one of the simplest things you can do to protect your home, and it takes very little time. All you need is a ladder, gardening gloves, a trash bag, and your garden hose to flush out the system when you are done.
While you are clearing and checking your gutters, make sure you do the same with your downspouts. Your downspouts are key to directing water away from your home’s foundation. If you find that water is still spilling over your gutters or pooling around the downspout after you have cleared them, it may be that you need a bigger downspout or better positioning. You also can opt to have the downspouts placed in the ground and out of the way.
Your basement windows are one of the weakest spots in your basement; the window wells and seals, in particular, are prone to damage and leaks. This is why it is important that you check each of your windows in the fall and reapply sealant where needed. If you notice stains underneath your windowsill, this could be a sign that you have a more serious leak coming through gaps between the sill and window.
The proper mix of plants in your yard can do wonders to improve moisture control. Consult a botanist or landscaper to find out just what plants will work for your home and yard. If you get the mix of all-year and seasonal plants right, you will not only improve moisture control in the soil, but you will also stabilize the soil. This can prevent flooding and dampness, but also prevent the soil shifting and displacement that can damage your home’s foundation.
If you have noticed dampness, mold, or spreading cracks in your basement, it may now be time to call for an expert opinion. A home inspection will include basic maintenance and servicing for appliances like your home’s sump pump and dehumidifier. More than this, however, it will include a comprehensive check of your basement or crawl space for signs of underlying structural instability and damage. Knowing that there are underlying problems is the best possible defense against sudden collapses, leaks, and failures.
If you find underlying damage, it’s time to consider calling in professionals. Contact the expert team at Innovative Basement Authority today for a free inspection and repair estimate in your quest to create a safer and healthier home.
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