What’s the first thing you do each fall to get your Indiana home ready for winter? Throughout the Midwest, homeowners know that when the leaves begin to fall, cold weather, icy road conditions, and snow are just around the corner. Before the temperatures dip for the first time this year, it’s time to get out your maintenance checklist and do the seasonal winterizing tasks important to protect your home from winter weather.
This year we’ve already seen more hurricanes batter the east coast than ever before, as well as wildfires affecting homeowners across the western United States. What does the winter have in store for us? It’s hard to know, but the number of damaging storms is on the rise across the country. Preparing your home for winter weather may be more important this year than ever before. Even if damaging storms don’t impact your area this year, winterizing your home can help lower your heating bills and protect your basement or crawl space from pests and mold growth.
Fix Leaky Pipes Before Freezing Weather Starts
One important task for Indiana homeowners this fall is to get your pipes ready for freezing temperatures. If you’ve never had a pipe freeze or burst in your home, this is not the year to start. Water damage from broken or burst pipes can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. Spending a little time and money to insulate your pipes this fall can help reduce that risk.
First, check for leaking pipes throughout the home. From the attic to the bathrooms and the kitchen to the basement or crawl space, leaky pipes attract pests, encourage mold growth, and can cause real damage in your home’s basement or crawl space. Fix leaky pipes immediately and clean up standing water anywhere in the home to reduce pests and mold.
In addition, adding insulation around pipes to protect against freezing temperatures is your next fall winterizing step. Finally, scheduling a foundation inspection to ensure your home’s foundation isn’t allowing moisture in through small cracks or other damage is a good part of your fall winterizing practice to protect your basement or crawl space and ensure the long-term health of your home.
Reduce Your Heating Costs
Insulating your home, especially the basement or crawl space, can also reduce your heating bills this winter. You spend more than half of your energy consumption on heating and cooling, on average. To reduce your energy bills this winter, make sure you get your furnace or HVAC unit maintenance done in the fall. Small updates to your HVAC unit can make a real difference.
Finding and fixing air leaks in the home can also help heating lower costs. If you notice a change in temperature near doors or windows, you may have an air leak that is allowing warm air to escape and increase heating costs. Insulating the doors and windows where air leaks are found with caulking both indoors and outdoors can help. Adding curtains or plastic film, including to basement windows, also helps improve insulation.
If you need a new furnace, consider an energy-efficient, gas-powered furnace to reduce bills even further. Installing a smart home thermostat and setting the temperature to a lower degree at night while you are sleeping is also a good practice to reduce energy outputs in both the winter and summer months when heating costs are at their highest.
Waterproof Your Basement or Crawl Space This Fall
Get your basement or crawl space ready for winter with additional insulation and waterproofing. To protect against water damage from leaking, frozen, or burst pipes, add interior drainage in the basement or crawl space and install a sump pump with a backup battery.
In addition, insulate your pipes with added foam insulation and install aluminum tape over any exposed ductwork. If your home’s insulation is old, installing new thermal insulation can have a major effect on lowering your heating bills. It also has the added benefit of protecting your home and its foundation from water damage. For more tips on winterizing your Indiana home this year, contact the experts at Indiana Foundation Service. We offer free foundation inspections and repair estimates and can help you better understand how waterproofing and insulation can help lower your heating bills this year.