The winters in North Carolina can be unforgiving, especially in your home. If you have a damaged foundation, leaking window wells, or an unprotected crawl space, you could find that humidity and dampness quickly take root in your home. Come spring, all the melting ice and snow leave behind water that has to go somewhere. If you don’t want that water to find its way into your basement or crawl space, there are some simple things that you should do.
6 Steps to Waterproofing Your Home This Winter
Dampness and standing water in your basement or crawl space can be caused by many factors, both internal and external. These six simple steps can help you keep external causes of dampness and water from seeping into your basement or crawl space.
1. Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts is one of the simplest and most important things you can do to keep your home dry during extreme weather. Whether it’s heavy rain or snowmelt, there’s always a chance that winter will bring more water than your yard and foundation can handle.
Your gutters and downspouts are key in funneling as much water as possible away from your home and towards the more robust street drainage systems. Remove all debris from in and around your gutters and downspouts to avoid water spilling over or pooling by your foundation. If you still notice spillage, you may need bigger gutters or downspouts.
2. Get a Vapor Barrier Installed
Vapor barriers can be installed by a professional in one session. They can ensure they’re properly sized and fitted correctly into place on your crawl space or basement. A high-quality vapor barrier will not only keep the area free from dampness, but it will help stabilize the climate in these spaces (especially if you have it installed along with thermal insulation).
3. Upgrade Your Sump Pump
Most homes with a basement have a sump pump of some kind installed to prevent standing water, but these appliances do have a lifespan of around 10-15 years. So, if you have a sump pump already, upgrading it can do wonders for your basement and energy bills. If you don’t have one, however, then you should definitely consider having a professional install one, especially if you see a lot of standing water in the winter.
4. Have a Dehumidifier Installed
A dehumidifier can do wonderful things when it comes to making sure your home is dry and comfortable. What’s more, they are easy to install, so a professional can do it in one session without the need for extra visits. Just make sure you have the right unit for your home. Tar Heel Basement Systems offers excellent energy-efficient dehumidifiers as well as an expert eye to ensure you get just what you need.
5. Improve Your Yard Grading
Your yard is one of the best tools in your arsenal when it comes to keeping flooding and dampness at bay. The right mix of plants in your yard will drastically improve moisture control, for example, and proper grading will ensure that excess water is angled away from your home and foundation. Unless you have experience and the right tools, however, it can be hard to do this yourself. You can look into a professional service to make the process smooth and effective.
6. Check Window and Hatch Seals
Leaking window wells or external access seals are very common causes of dampness and leaks in a basement. There are many possible causes, but the most common are damaged or missing sealant, blocked drainage routes, and general wear and tear. Wooden doors and windowsills are, unsurprisingly, most at risk. Check your sealant and frames before the winter so you have time to make any necessary repairs.
Some of these tasks may seem a little simple, but they are surprisingly effective when it comes to keeping the dampness and cold outside of your home.
Call in the Professionals
While it may be tempting to try to save money by doing waterproofing work yourself, it pays to have a professional on hand. Tar Heel Basement Systems offers free inspections and repair estimates for those thinking of undertaking waterproofing work.
A complete inspection will not only allow professionals to decide which products and procedures are the best for your home, but they will also be able to spot and deal with existing problems and damage before they escalate. This means you can kick back and relax, safe in the knowledge that there are no nasty surprises lurking under all that work.