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Basement Preparation Tips for Homeowners in 2020

Cleaning up your basement and preparing your home for the cooler, damper weather is the key to enjoying a cozy, warm home in winter.

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When winter arrives in Indianapolis, IN, the last thing you want is for the water pipes to burst, drafts to leak into your home, or your heater to fail. Fixing water leaks at sub-zero temperatures is no fun. And neither is clearing a clogged gutter or replacing a damaged downspout. You have a short window to prep your home in autumn before the cold winter sets in. 

In this post, we’ll show you how to winterize your home to protect it from the snowy weather and freezing cold. These simple tips will reduce the impact the outside weather has on your mechanical systems and critical structural parts. 

winter preparation for your basement

Is Basement Cleaning Really Necessary? 

Depending on its condition, your cement block walls may have mold or mildew. These microorganisms tend to flourish in damp and dim areas. Within a short time, they can infest the entire basement and fill the indoor air with spores and funny smells. 

Mold isn’t the only problem. Your basement can also collect grime and dirt, and this may give rise to bacteria. Some strains of bacteria can cause breathing problems. Cleaning and disinfecting the basement walls not only eliminate harmful microorganisms and enhances home safety, but it improves the basement appeal.  

It’s best to contact a mold removal professional to rid your home of these dangerous growths, and a local basement waterproofing expert can help install quality solutions in your basement to prevent mold and mildew formations in the first place. 

Along with addressing these issues, here are other ways to clean and prepare your home for the coming colder months. 

Winterize Water Pipes 

Your water pipes can freeze and burst when temperatures plummet in winter, causing extensive water damage. Evaluate the plumbing around your home and insulate exposed piping, including the hose bibb. Turn on the exterior faucets to drain any water, disconnect your garden hose, and then turn off the supply. 

Review Home Insulation 

Check the insulation around your house during autumn. Replace defective or damaged insulation. Pay attention to the unused fireplace, exterior outlets, switch plates, and hot water heater. Seal the fireplace and insulate your heater with an insulating blanket. 

Inspect the Roof 

Examine your roof for missing or damaged shingles and replace any. Check your roof projections, flashings, and chimney for leaks. Clean your gutters and downspouts. Make sure no leaves accumulate inside the gutters as they add to the weight of the frozen gutter. If you’re not comfortable with this, hire a roofer to carry out the roof inspections. 

Seal Windows and Doors 

Cold outside air can leak through openings around your windows and doors. In cold weather, this can contribute to higher heating bills. A simple but effective way of reducing the draft is weather-stripping these fixtures. 

Prepare the Landscape 

Take proper care of your lawn, flower beds, and garden. Prune trees and shrubs, then water them properly in preparation for winter. After doing the yard work, turn your focus to outdoor furniture and accessories. Cover your patio and seal the wooden deck properly before winter sets in. 

Clean and Cover the AC Unit 

Get a hose with a spray headset, then pressure clean the fans and blades of your AC unit. Leave the unit to dry completely, then cover it with a waterproof material. This will protect the internal components from freezing and the metal parts from rust, extending life and performance. 

Additional Tips 

  • Clean and seal brick or concrete paver surfaces, then patch cracks on your walkways or steps. 
  • Clean and cover up your outdoor barbecue/grill equipment. 
  • Trim overgrown tree branches and overhanging limbs as they can wet your siding and damage the roof. 
  • Clean your shovels, secateurs, and other garden tools, then store them properly. 

For a thorough assessment of your home and basement, get in touch with the experts at Indiana Foundation Service. We provide free basement repair inspections and quotes along with solid recommendations for waterproofing and winterizing your home.