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Get Your Ohio Home Ready for Winter

Here is a maintenance checklist for Ohio homeowners preparing their basement or crawl space for winter weather to help reduce heating costs and protect against water damage.

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Ohio homeowners from Columbus to Cincinnati know that annual home maintenance is essential to protect their family’s most important asset. As the leaves change and fall and the temperatures drop, it’s time for fall maintenance to protect your home’s basement or crawl space this winter. Kick off the holiday season right with this fall home maintenance checklist, before the first winter weather event impacts your home. Improving insulation in your home’s basement or crawl space can protect you from more expensive home repairs this winter. It can also reduce heating costs and minimize pests, mold, and mildew.

winterizing tips for fall

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In 2020, in the U.S. and around the globe we’ve seen an increase in major weather events, from hurricanes to mudslides and major temperature changes. As Ohio homeowners prepare for winter this year, the only thing we can expect is the unexpected. That’s why preparing your home for winter is more important this year than ever before. Completing seasonal home maintenance can help reduce the chances of costly water leaks, flooding due to freezing or burst pipes, and improve heating outputs from your home’s HVAC unit. Annual home winterization, especially protecting your home’s basement or crawl space, will help you save money from costly winter weather repairs.

Repair Water Leaks and Basement Cracks

To start your fall home maintenance checklist, identify and fix cracks and damages that can cause costly water leaks this winter. As the temperatures drop, the impact of frozen and burst pipes increases. Preparing now to improve flood protection in your home’s basement or crawl space can save you major repair costs in the future. Check your pipes first for leaks, even small ones. Identify standing water or leaky pipes from the top of your home to the basement or crawl space and fix any problems immediately before they have the chance to grow.

One of the effects of fixing leaky pipes is helping reduce pest activity in your home’s basement or crawl space. When the temperatures drop, pests are looking for warm places to hide with access to food and water. Leaky pipes provide a water source that attracts pests, as well as mold and mildew growth in a basement or crawl space.

The musty smell of mildew in your basement or crawl space, or any unexplained water, shows you need to increase your flood protections before the start of winter. One way moisture gets inside the home is through cracks or other damage to your home’s foundation. To reduce pests and protect your home’s foundation this winter, schedule a foundation inspection to identify and repair any cracks or leaks.

Insulate Pipes and Install Flood Protections

To protect against burst water pipes this winter, ensure your insulation in the basement or crawl space is up to date. You can also add additional foam insulation around pipes to help. Adding insulation to your home’s basement or crawl space will also help reduce your heating costs this winter, especially if you install thermal insulation. For additional protection, seal exposed ductwork with aluminum tape.

Added flood protection to reduce the damage from leaks and pipes bursting this winter include adding an interior drainage system and a sump pump with a backup battery to your basement or crawl space. A vapor barrier covering basement walls or encapsulating a crawl space also is a good investment to keep water, moisture, and gases out of your home.

Reduce Heating Costs this Winter

One of the scariest parts of winter can be your heating bill. If you see major increases in your power bills in the winter months, you may need to improve your home’s insulation. Additional solutions include professional maintenance to your HVAC unit to improve outputs or installing an energy-efficient furnace. Installing a smart thermostat can also help reduce energy consumption and lower heating costs, by lowering temperatures automatically when you’re not at home or at night. More than half of the energy used in U.S. homes is for heating and cooling.

Another way to lower heating bills is to identify and fix air leaks throughout the home. To find the most common cause, look for air leaks around doors and windows and add insulating caulk to the inside and outside. For basement windows, cover with curtains or plastic film to keep warm air inside.

To schedule a free foundation inspection and repair quote and identify ways to improve your home’s insulation and waterproofing before winter, contact your local foundation repair experts at Ohio Basement Authority.

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