As the Charlotte, NC, summer heat becomes a distant memory and the cooler months start to creep in, now is a good time to prep your home for the winter months ahead.
Here are some simple chores that will make your winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
The gutters on your roof divert thousands of gallons of water from your home’s exterior and foundation walls each year. As such, it is crucial to keep this system running smoothly. Start by cleaning out the leaves and debris from the gutters around your roof. This will ensure that gutters drain effectively, and the water gathered goes where it is supposed to go.
Check the condition of your gutters. Are they in good shape? How about the downspouts. Are they angled away from your home? If you are worried about water hurting your foundation, consider installing simple extenders that attach to the end of your downspout to point water away from your home, or even having these lines placed in the ground.
Check Your Roof
Next, visually inspect your roof for any signs of damage like holes and water pooling. These issues can encourage issues with interior wood or cause the drywall in your home to deteriorate. Also, check for any shingles that look loose or raised. Have them repaired by a roofing professional to stave off extensive problems in winter.
Check your entryways and your garage door to make sure they’re not allowing in cold outside air. Weatherstrip all your doors to block pests and stop drafts. Applying thin weatherstripping between your panels and door blocks cold air. Don’t forget to replace the bottom door seal and molding on the top and either side of your garage door.
Remove screens from your windows for winter. Inspect the molding and seals around each window. If you suspect a leak, use caulking to repair them and keep your windows tightly sealed. Use spray foam to seal up any gaps on exterior walls.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafty doors and windows can increase your annual heating and cooling by up to 30%. Weatherstripping is a cost-effective way of controlling heating and cooling costs.
Clear Out Any Yard Debris
A clean, mowed yard is going to be pest-free and won’t provide nests for mice and moles during winter. Clear out all fallen leaves, sticks, and logs from your yard. Move in your lawn furniture. Give your lawn one last trim before you put away your mower for the winter. Drain the gas tank before storing your mower to extend its life.
Ensure Proper Yard Grading
Another important part your yard plays in keeping water away from your foundation is its grading. Your yard, especially the soil directly around your home’s perimeter, should be positively graded. This means it slopes away from your home to allow water to properly drain away. Re-grading your yard can help with this endeavor.
Drain Garden Hoses
Make sure you remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets and drain off the water before storing them. If you leave your garden hoses connected, the water inside will freeze and expand, causing the pipes to crack or burst. Consider insulating all the water pipes located close to your exterior walls.
Clean and Store Garden Tools and Equipment
Next, clean up all your home gardening tools and equipment before storing them. Drain the gas or add a fuel stabilizer to all your gas-fueled equipment to enhance their lifespans. If you use a stabilizer, run the equipment for a few minutes to push the stabilizer into the carburetor.
Seal Foundation Gaps
Inspect your foundation for any cracks or crevices and seal them with the help of a foundation repair professional. Cracks or openings in your home foundation can cause water to get in and freeze. The frozen water will widen your cracks and make your basement damp, setting the stage for mold. Most cracks form due to foundation settlement or shrunken soils. If the cause of the cracks isn’t clear, you may need to conduct further investigation to get to the root cause. Take action fast to prevent further structural damage to your home.
If you are looking for a foundation repair expert in Charlotte, NC, do not hesitate to contact Mount Vallely Foundation Services. You can count on us to rectify any foundation issues you may have before winter arrives. Schedule a free foundation repair inspection and quote and get lasting fixes that will protect your home against melting snow or ice in the winter.