Is your Minnesota or North Dakota home ready for winter? From Fargo to Minneapolis, homeowners in the upper Midwest know that winterizing your home before the first major snowfall is important. As the holiday season begins, it’s time to take out that annual home maintenance calendar and perform your fall maintenance tasks to winterize your basement or crawl space and protect your home against the elements this year.
One of the positive results of basement or crawl space winterizing is that it helps protect your wallet as well. Reducing heating costs this winter is one of the many positive effects of fall home maintenance. You can also help reduce pests and lower mold and mildew growth this winter by getting ready now. Your home is one of the biggest financial investments you will make in your lifetime, so protecting it against the elements is a good move anytime. In the fall, the importance of home maintenance is even more important to help keep your family warm and dry this winter.
Throughout the globe this year, residents and homeowners have seen more major weather events impacting them than ever before. From a record number of hurricanes affecting the east coast of the U.S. to damaging forest fires across the west, costly weather events are on the rise. For Minnesota and North Dakota homeowners, that means protecting your home from harsh winter weather is more important than ever. For tips on how to improve basement or crawl space waterproofing, check your foundation for cracks and damage, and get your furnace ready for cold temperatures this year, review this list of fall winterizing tips for homeowners.
Is Your Basement or Crawl Space Insulated Against Cold Weather?
Insulating pipes in your home, especially in the basement or crawl space where warm air may not reach when the temperatures dip, is especially important for homeowners throughout the west. Water damage from frozen, leaking, or burst pipes can be expensive to repair and can encourage pest activity, mold, and mildew growth in your basement or crawl space.
To protect your home against frozen pipes this winter, ensure your basement or crawl space is well insulated. New insulation products now on the market are better at improving your home’s energy efficiency than ever before, including thermal insulation. Insulating your pipes with foam and adding aluminum tape to protect exposed ductwork in the basement or crawl space will also help protect your home this year.
Waterproof Your Basement or Crawl Space Before Winter Comes
In the fall, it’s important to check your home’s waterproofing and find and fix leaky or broken pipes before the temperatures dip. Spending a bit of time upfront on home maintenance this fall can protect your wallet from the cost of major repairs in the future.
First, check your home from the attic to the basement or crawl space for leaky pipes and fix any problems immediately. Standing water, dripping pipes, mold, or a mildew smell are all markers that can help you identify problem piping and fix it before the issue gets worse.
If you identify moisture in your basement or crawl space, it may be time to get your home’s foundation inspected for cracks or other damage. Even a small crack in your home’s foundation can allow moisture to seep inside and build up in the home. A moist basement or crawl space can attract pests, especially in the cold winter months, and allow mold and mildew to grow.
Once you’ve fixed and insulated pipes in the basement or crawl space, consider these additional waterproofing protections as well:
- Interior drains
- Sump pump with backup battery
Ensuring your basement or crawl space waterproofing is up to date will reduce the effects of water damage from storms, accidents, or other events outside of your control.
Improve Energy Efficiency And Reduce Heating Bills
Fall home maintenance can also help lower your heating bills. Reducing your family’s energy consumption is not only good for the environment, it can also reduce energy costs and lower your bills throughout the year. More than half of the energy Americans use in their homes is through heating and cooling. Small updates to your furnace and HVAC units can make a big impact.
First, check and fill air leaks throughout the home that allow the warm air to escape and the cold air to come in. To find air leaks, check around windows and doors throughout the home. If you feel a temperature dip nearby, you may have an air leak. Caulking doors and windows both indoors and out can help reduce air leakage. If your basement is colder than the rest of the home, add plastic film or curtains to windows to improve insulation.
Get your heating unit serviced in the fall before the temperatures dip and the heating goes up. Replace furnace filters and if needed replace your heater with an EnergyStar gas furnace. Install smart home appliances, including a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers temperatures at night to reduce heating outputs and lower bills.
Check with local foundation experts to help you get your home ready for winter this year. For a free foundation inspection and repair estimate and more information on basement waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation, contact the expert team at Innovative Basement Authority today.