What’s the biggest storm you can remember? Did it cause power outages in your North Carolina community? Or maybe your home was damaged by icy winter weather? Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in wintery weather in North Carolina, including some damaging ice storms that impacted homeowners up and down the east coast.
If you are a North Carolina homeowner, you can help protect your home from storm damage due to weather events outside your own control. A bit of annual home maintenance throughout the year can help save you thousands of dollars on repairs after a major storm. So, before the next winter weather event or rainstorm, take a look at our checklist for homeowners and get your home ready for what next season has in store for us.
Insulating North Carolina Homes from Winter Weather
While snowstorms may be welcomed by skiers and snowboarders in the western and northern states, in North Carolina, a few inches of snow or a bit of ice can close down roads and make travel unsafe across the state. Freezing conditions can also be unsafe for your home.
Before the first winter freeze, getting your home’s basement ready for cold weather will save you money on heating costs and protect against water damage. If you are looking to lower your heating costs this year, update your home’s insulation in the basement or crawl space. Insulating these areas can also help protect your home from water damage due to storms and frozen or burst pipes.
Waterproof Your Basement or Crawl Space to Protect Against Flooding
Each spring, rainstorms impact homeowners across the state of North Carolina. Whether your Raleigh home has a basement or crawl space, ensure its waterproofing is up to date to protect against flooding and storm-related water damage. Even a small amount of water in your basement or crawl space can encourage mold and mildew growth, as well as pest activity.
To improve the waterproofing of your own basement or crawl space, install an interior drainage system to intercept any water that may leak inside. In addition, adding a dehumidifier will help reduce humidity and mold growth if water does come indoors. Finally, adding a sump pump to your basement or crawl space that is connected to a backup battery is good protection against home repairs from flooding or storm damage.
Reduce Basement Humidity Before Mold Sets In
In addition to rainstorms and flooding, basements can be a source of water damage to a home in the summer months due to humidity. When temperatures rise in the summer, so does the amount of water in the air and the soil.
If your home’s foundation is cracked or damaged, water can seep into your basement or crawl space directly from the wet soil below. In addition to adding a dehumidifier to reduce humidity and stop mold and mildew from impacting your home, fixing your home’s foundation will reduce moisture in the basement or crawl space.
If you have standing water in the basement or crawl space or moist conditions after installing a dehumidifier, you may have foundation damage. Schedule a foundation inspection immediately to identify and fix the problem before it grows.
In addition, leaking basement windows and window wells can attract moisture to the basement. Adding caulk both indoors and out to windows and doors will help insulate the basement against water leaks. To minimize moisture buildup from window wells in the humid summer months, add small pebbles around the outside of basement window wells.
Dry Summer Soil Can Harm Your Home’s Foundation
Finally, summer soil conditions can also be dry in our area. Overly dry soil conditions, either from drought or a long number of rain-free days, can also impact a home’s foundation. Dry conditions can cause soil levels to shrink. When this happens underneath or around a home’s foundation, damage can occur. A buildup of gas and pressure under the home can also be caused by dry soil conditions.
To reduce the effects of dry soil conditions on your home, water yards sparingly as needed to keep soil conditions healthy. Ensure your home’s exterior drainage is working correctly before you water your yards, and don’t overwater. For professional advice on weatherproofing your North Carolina home this year, from waterproofing your basement to protecting your foundation, contact your local foundation experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free inspection and repair quote.