Wouldn’t it be fun if the only fall prep for the upcoming winter was hanging a wreath and lighting pumpkin spice candles? Yes, it would. But there are more critical aspects of getting ready for the winter for Rush City, MN, homeowners. Think of them as what your home needs to transition from fall to cold nights and eventually freezing weather.
At the start of fall, detach the garden hose from outdoor water taps. Leaving them attached could cause water backups in the taps and pipes within your exterior walls. If the temperatures drop, the water could freeze and expand, cracking the pipes. Shut off valves on your water supply lines going to the exterior taps to guard against leaks.
Gutters and drainage
You’re probably thinking the gutters are working, channeling several gallons of water from your roof. If this system gets clogged, you may end up with a flooded interior or a water-damaged exterior. Clogging can also cause ice dams, which can lead to costly repairs. So, clean your gutters to remove gunk, twigs, and leaves. Make sure the gutters are in place and not sagging or holding water. Tighten hangers and downspout brackets. Also, make sure your downspout lines are in good working condition. You may choose to have these lines placed in the ground.
Direct your yard grading and drainage
Check the soil grading around the perimeter of your home. Make sure the soil slopes away from your foundation at least six inches for every 10 feet. This way, water won’t collect and leech into the foundation soils.
Inspect exterior walls
Look out for signs of peeling paint and blistering on the house. Peeling paint is an indication that the existing film can’t protect the siding of your home. If you ignore it, the siding will start deteriorating, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
Remove visible debris from your yard. Small branches, rocks, and debris have to go. Instead of burning weeds, dead flowers, or pruning, turn them into compost manure. Pay attention to rose beds as their foliage can encourage winter diseases.
Look out for foundation gaps and fix them before they let in water to your basement. Causes could be anything from shrunken soils beneath your home to foundation settling. Ask your foundation repair contactor to inspect the gaps and recommend a solution. Left unchecked, these can cause structural failure.
Inspect the roof
Your roof is the first line of defense. Ensure that it is in good condition. Inspect for loose or missing shingles. If it’s not functional, water damage can occur. Wind, ice, rain, and snow together with drastic temperature changes can also gang up and wreak havoc on your roof. The result is that wood and insulation will deteriorate and your electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems will become vulnerable. Take immediate action during the fall season while you still have time rather than wait until winter to discover your roof is leaking in the middle of a snowstorm.
Check These Other Items Off Your List Too
Additional winter preparation tips include:
- Change the direction of ceiling fans to create an upward draft that moves warm air around.
- Test and replace batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoker detectors.
- Check your basement windows for loose frames, cracked panels, and drafts.
- Wrap any outdoor appliance units like an air conditioner with an approved tarp or cover to prevent rusting.
- Apply weatherstripping or caulk to windows to reduce draft and save on heating costs.
- Have a licensed heating contractor inspect and service your HVAC so it can run efficiently for longer and with fewer problems.
- Prepare your fireplace and ensure your wood stove is in order.
- Clean your clogged chimney of creosote as it can trigger a chimney fire.
Get in touch with Innovative Basement Authority for a free foundation repair inspection and quote. We will assess your level of winter preparedness and recommend further measures to protect your home from the harsh winter weather.