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Seven Practical Fall Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Fall is a good time to check your foundation, evaluate your waterproofing measures, and prepare your home for the freezing weather and the coming snow.

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With winter around the corner, it is time to make sure that your home is ready for the cold weather. You need to take preventive measures that will save you the headache of dealing with serious foundation issues down the line. Here are exterior fall maintenance tips to prepare your home for winter and protect the foundation from damage by the harsh conditions. 

clogged outside drain

1. Start with the Roof 

The roof is the first line of defense for your home, and the smallest hole can cause a lot of damage. Perform a visual inspection from the ground and look for places where the shingles are curling up or peeling off. Other signs that the roof is old and needs replacing include turning edges, loose shingles, and roof materials in the gutter runoff. Discoloration and fading may also be an indication of old shingles. 

2. Check the Gutters and Downspout 

The gutters and downspouts should be able to drain water effectively. Check for cracks in the gutters and areas where the gutter pulls away from the fascia. Hose down the gutters to check for possible leaks and clear out all debris. The gutter protection system should be in place and any damage fixed. Make sure the gutters are completely sealed and don’t have any leaky areas that may lead water to the foundation. 

Consider gutter replacement if your gutters are damaged or there isn’t gutter protection. The downspouts should direct water away from the house. Make sure they are clog-free and angled away from the foundation. You also can have these lines placed in the ground.  

3. Inspect the Foundation 

Cold weather makes the foundation susceptible to shifting. As the temperatures drop and rise, the soil freezes and can shrink. The cold exerts pressure on the foundation, causing it to shift and develop cracks. You will end up with a compromised foundation that makes your home unsafe for the family. 

Check the foundation for any cracks and seal them. Your local foundation repair experts can inspect this area and uncover what’s ailing your foundation. 

4. Waterproof the Basement 

Leaks and floodwater in the basement can weaken the foundation too. You need to get a handle on it to prevent similar problems from occurring when the snow melts. A noisy sump pump, peeling paint, and musty odors are signs that there is moisture in the basement. Get in touch with a basement waterproofing expert in Cincinnati, OH, to take a look at it. 

5. Check Outside Drains 

One of the leading causes of basement or crawl space leaks in any home is poor exterior drainage. Drains located in the window wells, outside stairwell, and driveway easily get clogged or filled with debris. As part of winter preparation, clear any debris and leaves from the drains. This allows rainwater to flow away from the foundation. While you’re at it, don’t forget to fix faulty outdoor faucets. 

6. Landscaping and Grading 

If the soil around the foundation doesn’t drain properly, it could cause serious foundation issues with time. Proper landscaping and grading are the first step toward preventing leaks into the foundation. Start by re-grading the soil around the foundation so it slopes away from the house. Use dense soil such as clay to prevent melted snow from accumulating near the foundation. 

7. Maintain the Yard 

Typical of fall, dead leaves will drop and litter your yard. Don’t let them accumulate, as they can get into the drains and clog them. When this happens, rainwater won’t flow as usual. The truth is that clogging puts the foundation at risk of water damage due to melting snow. It is important that you continually rake the leaves and keep your yard clean. 

Extreme winter temperatures put a lot of pressure on the soil and this might cause the foundation to shift. Melting snow can have devastating effects on the integrity of the foundation if your drainage is poor. Proper preparation is key to ensuring that your home stays structurally sound throughout the winter and long after. 

If you would like to waterproof the basement or carry out last-minute foundation repairs before the weather gets rough, talk to the experts at Ohio Basement Authority. Schedule a free foundation repair inspection and quote in Cincinnati, OH, and get answers and solutions that will see you through the winter.

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