Winter is now upon us, and as we Ottawa residents know, so are the ice, snow, and frigid temperatures we have come to know and love. The time has come for homeowners to begin battening down the hatches to ensure no damages or expensive repairs are caused by the weather this chilly season. That being said, preparing your foundation for the winter season should be top of mind this time of year. To help with this, we have written a few tips for you to keep in mind as you go through your winter preparation checklist.
Thoroughly Inspect Your Foundation
The first step to prepare for winter is to thoroughly inspect your foundation. A simple walk around the exterior of your house to look for any obvious cracks or damage in the foundation can help you know where to start fixing things up for winter. Moisture can build up in cracks within the foundation itself, causing damage to the insulation inside. So, if you notice any damages to the foundation, be sure to fill them in or get a professional to come and fix them right away.
Shut Off Your Exterior Water Sources
Drain any outdoor water sources you may have, such as hoses, faucets, or sprinkler systems, then make sure they are off and have no visible leaks. Leaving a water source on can cause severe damage to your home, especially if a pipe freezes and bursts, so double-checking all your water sources is vitally important this winter season.
Clean Out Your Gutters
Your gutters are designed to keep water away from your foundation, and they can’t do their job if leaves and mud block them up. If you can do so safely, make sure you clean out your gutters before the cold freezes the gunk in them. If you can’t get onto your roof safely, contact a professional to get it done.
Similar to your foundation, it is often best practice to get the lower floor of your home waterproofed. Water that would normally have been absorbed into the ground can no longer do so because the ground is colder and harder in winter. So, if your home is not waterproofed, excess water can cause lower floor mould and mildew to build up.
Shovel your snow
The last step in foundation upkeep is not letting the snow pile up in excess against your foundation. When the snow begins to melt, it could cause water to build up higher than the foundation below, especially if your lower floor is not waterproofed. To avoid risking any water damage this winter, keep those snow piles further from the side of your home.
Remember that taking the necessary precautions this winter can protect you from being caught up in an expensive repair situation this spring. So, after taking these steps, you can turn the heat on and get ready for a safe winter inside and away from any foundation issues. Reach out to the Foundation Experts, and they will be happy to tackle any repairs and help extend your foundation lifespan.