Burst pipes, water damage, mold & mildew, and a flooded basement is any homeowner’s worst nightmare. Winter’s dipping temperatures can bring with it many hidden costs in the form of basement repairs and restorations.
But with a bit of forethought and planning, you may just be able to get through the winters with a hassle-free and leak-free basement.
Following a few winterization tips can help lower energy costs, prevent basement seepages, and minimize pest infestations. From basement waterproofing to insulating doors and windows, here’s what you can do to prepare your Massachusetts basement for winter.
Check Your Foundation
To begin with, an inspection will ensure that the foundation on which your basement sits is in good condition for the winter. Otherwise, any settling or shifting of the foundation can crack your basement flooring or walls. A construction expert will ensure that the earth around the foundation tends to slope away from it. This means that the foundation is slightly higher than the ground around it. The expert may even add soil to build the slope and prevent water from pooling around the foundation, which in turn could freeze and cause damage to the basement.
Seal It Up
Bring in a construction professional to check the outside of your home for cracks and leaks. These cracks let in cold air or moisture, which then wreaks havoc on your basement. Gaps in low lying windows or doors that lead into the basement must be filled securely.
Moving on to pipes; prevent them from bursting in the winters by adding insulation. Like the spigot for your garden hose, make sure outdoor water sources are turned completely off and drained. Any leftover water in pipes can freeze and cause them to split open. Even pocket-sized cracks in a pipe can cause significant flooding to your basement. A simple way to prevent this is to leave a warm water drip when temperatures fall below freezing.
Insulate Windows, Doors, & Pipes
Winters can come with higher heating costs for Massachusetts homeowners. Reduce costly energy bills by insulating windows and doors. Additionally, seal them with caulk. To identify air leaks in your basement, run a hand along windows and doors to feel for a whiff of coolness. Get any such gaps filled in by an expert. Draping curtains and lining basement windows with plastic film can also retain warmth in the basement and reduce heating costs.
Covering your basement pipes with foam insulation is a great solution to keeping them safe. We also suggest that you seal any exposed ductwork with aluminum tape to keep the heat inside.
Inspect Your Heating System
Winters are the perfect time to hold a maintenance call with your HVAC professional and ensure that your system is clean, safe, and operational. Before the cold hits, have an inspection completed on your heating system. This is especially necessary for unfinished basements since you might not be down there all that often and recognize problems yourself.
It would be helpful to replace the furnace filter as well. If you have a fireplace in your basement, schedule a professional chimney cleaning and inspection before you light up your fireplace for the first time during the season. Also, new smart home heating technologies like programmable thermostats can save 10% or more off your winter heating bills. So, you may want to look into such options as well.
With cold weather percolating in through the ground, it is highly beneficial to prepare your basement the right way. Contact Perry Brothers Construction, and we will make sure that your basement remains safe, dry, and warm.