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8 Effective Fall Maintenance Tips for a Drier and Warmer Winter

There’s never a better time to prepare your home for the icy winter weather than fall. Find out what measures you can take to protect your home from the outside.

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Fall is just about to give way to the cold and dreary winter in Indianapolis, IN. The freezing months ahead aren’t just going to be hard on you, but on your home as well. Before you move all your valuables inside, take a look at your home. Can it withstand the onslaught of frost, snow, and ice? If not, you’ll have a long and uncomfortable winter. Come spring, the repairs waiting could set your back several thousand dollars. 

Take this opportunity to prep your home so it can hold up well in the freezing winter. 

measuring wall crack

Grade the Yard to Improve Water Drainage 

Melting snow and ice can cause problems in winter. You can prevent basement or crawl space flooding and other water issues by ensuring the earth slopes away, not toward, your home. The recommended grading is six inches for every 10 feet. 

Seal Foundation Gaps 

Don’t assume the foundation is solid and free of cracks. Shrinking soils and settlement during summer may have triggered cracks. If you notice any openings, ask your local foundation repair contractor to investigate and fix them. Left unchecked, these cracks could compromise the structural integrity of your home. 

Check Your Roof 

Another area that needs your attention is the roof. But who goes there other than birds, rain, and falling leaves? Weather changes, the elements, and falling debris can dislodge shingles or rupture the roof. Inspect for holes and dips that could collect ice and water. A roof that’s in a state of disrepair will cost you more and hurt your home eventually. Act now before the weather gets cold and unbearable. 

Fix and Clean Gutters and Downspouts 

Gutters and downspouts are supposed to be clean and flowing in summer and spring only. Right? Wrong. Falling snow and ice dams can increase precipitation on your roof. If the gutters have gunk or dead leaves or debris, water won’t flow properly. Melting snow and ice will spill through the sides of the gutters and end up in your home’s foundation. Repair any damaged gutters and clear dirt that collects on them. 

Also, angle down your downspouts properly and make sure they extend a couple of feet away. Place them underground if possible to avoid water drainage issues. 

Maintain the Lawn and Garden 

Reseed your garden or lawn and all patch areas. Clear all the dead leaves then plant spring bulbs like daffodils. These are hardy and will endure the cold weather pretty well. It also helps to enclose the yard with chicken wire to deter deer that might stray into your garden and cause mayhem. 

Weatherstrip Your Garage Door 

It’s likely that the cold air outside will seep through small openings and spaces around your garage door. These gaps can also let in critters. Weatherstripping prevents air drafts and locks out creatures seeking a comfortable and warm interior. If the door seal and stop molding are worn out, replace them as soon as possible. 

Check the Exterior Walls 

These are your first line of defense against the cold weather and the elements. When they’re intact and sturdy, you won’t feel the cold. Repaint the walls and the siding. If the siding is in bad shape, you should replace it immediately. 

Prepare Lawn Equipment 

Check your gas-operated outdoor equipment and empty them of fuel. This includes chainsaws, lawnmowers, and leaf blowers. Get your snow shovel, roof rakes, and snowblower ready and on hand. 

You’ll need them when the snow starts falling. Don’t forget to discharge your garden hose and shut off all the outdoor water valves. If you leave them with water, they’re going to rupture your water pipes in winter. 

Additional Maintenance Tips  

  • Shut off all your outdoor faucets. 
  • Inspect your yard for concrete hazards that could cause tripping. 
  • Replace old or leaky basement windows. 
  • Cover your egress window wells with window well covers.  

If you need help waterproofing your basement or fixing a leaky foundation in Indianapolis, IN, before winter sets in, get in touch with Indiana Foundation Service. We will provide you with a free foundation repair inspection and quote along with solid recommendations to keep your basement and home dry during the cold winter months ahead.