Winter is upon us, which means it’s time to trade in the sandals for snow boots and winter-proof your home. We have a simple basement checklist to review each winter as the snow falls that can help catch leaks early, prevent extensive basement damage and keep you cozy and dry this winter! 

Basement Winterizing Checklist

Gutters

Throughout the fall, your gutters will fill with fallen leaves, twigs and other debris. If your gutters become blocked with debris, water will spill out and travel directly downwards to your foundation. Check and clear your gutters so water can drain properly away from your home. If you have a ladder, you may be able to check your gutters yourself, but in case of steep or high gutters or dangerous conditions, it is always recommended to consult a professional.

Downspouts

Your downspouts should be directing the water collected by your gutters at least five feet away from your home. When you check your downspouts, be sure to also check you have enough of them to capture excess melt-off and they are all leak-free.

Outdoor cracks

One of the most common culprits of basement leaks is outdoor cracks in your walls or foundation. As water and snow collect near your home, pressure will build and eventually cause a crack in your wall or foundation, resulting in moisture entering your home.

Cracks are very common in homes because of pressure build-up as moisture collects and homes settle but all cracks should be fixed and sealed quickly. Over time, they will only widen, letting moisture into your basement and resulting in a much higher repair bill.

Sump pump

Your sump pump is installed to help keep your home dry by sensing when the sump pit, where water is accumulated, is full and pumping this water away from your home. However, if not properly maintained or inspected the sump pit may overflow, flooding your home. Perform regular inspections, testing the discharge hose and pipe. In extremely cold temperatures you should remove the discharge hose before freezing temperatures come to prevent the hose from freezing.

Windows and window wells

 Inspect basement window frames for any cracks or breaks and check the seals around all your basement windows, repairing or re-caulking any damaged areas.

Inspect the window well area for any debris, including fallen leaves or garbage to ensure proper drainage. 

Piping system

A broken pipe can spell disaster for your basement. Prevent pipe bursts by checking the piping in your basement for any early signs of damage or cracks, and ensure all pipes are properly insulated to prevent freezing.

Grading

Perimeter grading around your home should be sloping away from the house, at a minimum of 6 inches. Look for ground that is flat, pooling water or even sloped towards your home. Improper grading can lead to water damage and basement moisture or flooding as snow, ice, and water pools near the foundation and leaks inside.

 

Raised wooden front porch and stairs of a home covered in snow

Avoid costly repairs by winter-proofing your basement

Identifying leaks in your basement in a timely manner is essential to prevent further water damage. Get help from the professionals at K Kuypers Construction, trusted experts in keeping you warm in the winter by waterproofing your basement. In addition, when we waterproof your basement walls, we also add insulation drainage board with an R-value of 8.08. Contact us for a free no-obligation quote to keep your basement dry.

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