Winter is almost in view, and that means creating a home inspection checklist. In addition to making sure that your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working and getting the chimney inspected, have you remembered the basement?
To keep your home safe this winter, remember these essential checklist items from Missouri Basement:
Check Your Home’s Drainage
Melting snow can create pools of water where you don’t want them. Check all drains outside of your home for any debris and clean them. This will prevent flooding.
If you have landscaping, make sure that any slopes won’t direct water towards your home’s foundation.
Clean Your Home’s Gutters & Check Downspouts
Cleaning your gutters is essential in preventing water overflow that can spill straight down into your foundation. You may have to do this more than once throughout the fall season. Once the gutters are cleaned, check the downspouts for any cracks and breakage and replace them if necessary. Downspouts are essential in moving water away from the foundation of your home, at least 5 feet away.
Test Your Sump Pump
The sump pump in your home is a device that helps keep your home safe from water damage by removing excess water around the foundation. Make sure that it is working this winter by testing it. You can do this by locating the exit pipe to ensure that it’s not clogged. Then, you can test the pump by slowly pouring in water until the float rises. The pump should turn itself on and then back off when the water has been drained.
Inspect Home Insulation & Crawl Spaces
How often do you think about the insulation of your home and the crawl spaces? Probably only in the winter when you feel a chill in the air. Insulation is essential in keeping away drafts and helping prevent pipes from freezing. In the same vein, your crawl space vents should be closed to avoid cold air from freezing your pipes. Remember to open them again when the weather becomes mild!
Flush Hot Water Tank Of Sediment
Each year you should be draining your water heater of sediment that collects at the bottom of the tank. This buildup can prevent the tank from efficiently heating water and lower its lifespan. It can also result in higher energy bills as it works harder.
Inspect Foundation & Basement For Cracks
Cracks in the basement and foundation of your home is a problem that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later—especially before winter sets in. Water in the cracks can freeze, expand, melt, and refreeze, causing the cracks to get bigger over time. Too much moisture can also cause mold to form.
Go around your home and basement to check for cracks, being sure to look behind anything that may be blocking your view.
Get Your Basement Waterproofed
No one wants to go into their basement to find it wet after a winter rain or snowmelt. Get your basement waterproofed by a professional basement company like Missouri Basement. They will inspect your basement and install moisture & water control systems where necessary.
If your basement drain is rusted over, get it cleaned or replaced. Rust covered drains prevent water from being efficiently drained from your basement, leading to pooling.
Drain Outside Faucets & Shut Them Off
Your outside faucets are completely unprotected from winter weather, so they must be drained and protected before winter sets in. If not, they can freeze and burst. To drain, shut off the water to the faucets, go outside, open the exterior spigot and let the water drain out of the line. Leave the water shut off until you need to use it next spring.