In homes with basements, winter can be a particularly dangerous time for that lower-level space in the home. With cold weather seeping in through the ground, you might want to think about preparing your basement for winter. Doing so will make sure that your space is kept safe and warm and that any items you store down there remain in good condition. Here are a few winterization tips to help you prepare your basement for the cold weather to come.
1) Check Your Foundation
Because your basement sits on the foundation, you’ll want to make sure that it’s in good condition and ready for the cold. If not, any settling or shifting of the foundation can cause cracks to form in your basement floor or walls. When you do your inspection, make sure that the earth around your foundation slopes away from it. In other words, your foundation should be slightly higher than the ground around it. If needed, add soil to create the slope and prevent water from pooling around the foundation, since it could freeze and cause damage to the foundation.
2) Seal it Up
Do a lap of your home and check for any cracks or openings in the outside of your house. These cracks could allow in cold air or moisture, which could wreak havoc on your basement. Check especially around low windows or doors that lead into the basement. Fill up any cracks or gaps you see or hire a professional to help.
3) Prep Your Pipes
To prevent pipes from bursting due to frozen water inside, make sure to prepare your pipes to withstand freezing temperatures. Cover them up with heat tape or other insulation. Some people find that pool noodles are a good DIY option for insulating pipes. Make sure other outdoor water sources, like the spigot for your garden hose, are completely off and drained. Finally, if you know that the temperatures will dip below freezing overnight, let warm water drip lightly so that the pipes stay warm.
4) Inspect Your Heating System
Before the cold weather hits, make sure you have an inspection completed on your heating system. A professional can have a look at all the pipes and filters involved to make sure your system will continue to work throughout the winter. This is especially important for unfinished basements since you might not be down there all that often and notice problems yourself. And don’t forget that if your basement isn’t ready for winter, the rest of your house could be affected as well.
Winterizing your basement can be a bit of a challenge, but going through the above tips will make sure your below-ground room will withstand the cold to come. If you’ve prepared properly, you can look forward to your whole house staying warm, cozy, and safe throughout the winter. For more information on our waterproofing services, give us a call or fill out a contact form!