When it comes to home waterproofing, there are two paths you can take: You can deploy basic preparatory measures by yourself or you can call in the professionals to bolster your home against the winter. We recommend a mixed approach. After all, the winters in Cincinnati, OH, can be brutal, with temperatures dropping below freezing and snowfall regularly reaching several inches.
While the cold may be hard on your home, it is the thaw that often causes the most damage. If you do not prepare your home for winter, spring thaws can see water pooling around your property foundation and seeping into your basement through small cracks.
How to Prepare Your Home for Winter
If you want to avoid the many problems associated with cold snaps, soil saturation, and excessive hydrostatic pressure it is important that you make sure your home is prepared for winter. Here’s what you can do.
Plant the Right Mix of Vegetation
Your yard can make or break your property when it comes to moisture management. While grading your soil is a professional job, you can help your home deal with snap freezes and sudden thaws by planting the right mix of seasonal vegetation. The right mix of plants and bushes will form complex root systems that hold the soil together and improve its ability to deal with excess water.
Clear Your Drains and Gutters
Cleaning out your gutters and drains is a simple and generally easy task that nonetheless has a huge impact on your home’s ability to withstand winter storms. You see, if a snap freeze hits and you have debris and standing water in your gutters and drains, it will either completely block them or you will see a gradual reduction in their effectiveness. This can lead to runoff, water pooling by your foundation, and even water backing up onto your roof. This can damage your roof and foundation, but the weight of this ice can also pull your gutters away from their connection points altogether. By removing all debris and buildup from your drains, you will prevent snap freezes from completely blocking them and increase your property’s ability to cope with the spring thaw.
Stow Away Exterior Water Source Measures
Clear your sprinkler system of standing water to prevent damage and minimize the likelihood of freezing the pipes that feed them. Disconnect and tidy away your garden hoses to prevent water from freezing in exterior faucets and damaging your hoses or pipes.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
While exterior pipes are at the most risk of freezing, pipes that pass through your basement or crawl space also face some danger. If you want to avoid a frozen or burst pipe in this space, you should:
- Wrap exposed pipes with electrical heating tape
- Let a trickle of cold water run from faucets when the exterior temperature drops below 20°F
- Set the thermostat to 55°F or above
You could also invest in insulation for your basement or crawl space. This process is simple, cost-effective and can be undertaken by most basement waterproofing specialists.
How Professionals Can Protect Your Home This Winter
Professional waterproofing specialists can do a lot to protect your home from even the hardest Cincinnati winters. If you have found that the aforementioned measures have failed to keep your home safe and dry in previous years, you should consider more advanced waterproofing measures. Here’s what a professional can do to help you:
Interior Drainage and Sump Pump Installation
To keep water from damaging your basement, you need to be able to intercept it. That’s where a perimeter interior drainage system comes in. Once these specially designed channels collect water, they direct it to a sump pump to be removed from the basement. If you do not have a sump pump or your current sump pump is beginning to fail, having one installed could make a huge difference to your property’s ability to deal with winter storms. In fact, if you have the right sump pump installed, you should never have to deal with standing water again.
If there’s still lingering moisture, an energy-efficient dehumidifier will work to remove it from the basement and home. The best dehumidifiers to use are self-draining units that clean and filter the air, reduce moisture and humidity, and eliminate odors and potential mold growth.
Insulating your basement or crawl space will not only prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting, but it can also help you prevent dampness in general and improve the climate in these spaces. Insulation is a relatively quick and cost-effective task which will also help you to lower your energy bills in the future.
Now that you’ve seen how you can benefit from professional installations, are you ready to protect your home from seasonal damage? Just contact the experts at Ohio Basement Authority today for a free inspection and repair estimate!