Wintertime comes with a host of potential perils that are unique to the season. Some of those potential perils are directed at house and home. And one certain part of your home – a part that’s often out of sight and out of mind – is particularly vulnerable to wintertime damage. That part of your home is your basement. Your basement might be a dank, dark hole in the ground. Or it might be a wonderfully cozy, family-friendly, refinished basement.
Either way, there are 3 simple precautions you can take to assure that springtime finds your basement no worse for the wear.
- Keep Gutters Clear. The job of the guttering on your home is quite simple: carry water draining from your roof away from the home. But if your gutters become clogged, they won’t be able to do their job. And autumn going into winter is a time when guttering is very likely to become clogged with falling leaves. So make sure that your gutters are thoroughly cleaned out before winter strikes. Otherwise, melting snowfall will likely puddle around your home’s foundation – making it all the more likely to deluge your basement.
- Careful Where You Dump That Snow. Clearing snow from around your home often seems to be a never-ending job. It’s drudgework that goes on all winter. But don’t let the grind of snow removal cause you to get lazy about how you remove that snow. Make sure that you never pile snow up around your home’s foundation. Because all of that piled-up snow will eventually melt. And when it does…another potential basement deluge.
- Give Your Sump Pump Some Love: If you have a sump pump in your basement, it could be your basement’s last line of defense against incurring water damage. So it would be wise to assure that your pump is fit and healthy going into the winter. Check, too, to assure that there are no low spots in the pump’s drainage line. A pool of water that collects in a low spot may freeze and block the drainage line, rendering the pump essentially useless.
A Soggy Foundation is Particularly Bad During Winter… Waterlogged soil around your foundation is a bad thing at any time of the year. But sub-freezing temperatures during winter can make a bad thing even worse. That’s because water-soaked soil constantly expanding and contracting during freezes and thaws is likely to do very bad things to your basement walls. So take a few extra precautions to see your basement safely through the winter. Because it really doesn’t matter whether you spend lots of time in your basement or hardly ever set foot in the place. Either way, you don’t want to have to dump a bunch of money for repairs into that hole-in-the-ground come spring.