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Seasonal Maintenance Tips for Your Basement or Crawl Space in the Fall

December 3, 2020

One thing we can be sure fall will bring across the U.S. is rainy weather. If you’re ready for the hot summer months to turn into crisp fall days, don’t forget that a little rain may be mixed in there too. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what annual maintenance your home requires in the fall, especially related to wet fall weather. Keeping your basement or crawl space water-free this fall takes a bit of proactive home maintenance but it can save you major repair costs down the line. From reducing pests to minimizing moisture build-up, these maintenance tips will help save you time, money, and major headaches this fall.

Fall Months Bring Rainy Weather  

For most areas across the U.S., the arrival of fall means shorter days, colder temperatures, and rainy days. Before the rainy weather begins, it's best to get your fall home maintenance chores done and ensure your home is protected for the fall and winter weather ahead.

To start your fall home maintenance calendar, check your sump pump backup battery or other alternate power sources. If your home is impacted by fall showers, a sump pump can help reduce flood damages and protect your basement from the moisture build-up that can attract pests and mold growth. But installing a sump pump isn’t enough to protect your home against flooding if you don’t ensure its backup power is working before an emergency occurs. 

If your basement has not yet been professionally waterproofed, adding this essential protection to your below-ground areas can help get you ready for fall. Professional waterproofing will protect your home against leaks, floods, and other expensive water damage, which can be one of the most costly weather-related repairs to make.

Something else you can do to reduce moisture build-up in your basement or crawl space is to move washer and dryer units upstairs. If you must dry clothes in the basement, install a dehumidifier in the area to reduce moisture build-up and reduce pests and mold growth in the fall.

Prepare For Colder Days

As the calendar turns and the temperatures plummet, it’s time to finish the fall maintenance projects your home needs to protect it against winter temperatures as well. First, ensure your home’s gutters are clear and the downspouts are pointed away from the home. If water pools around the exterior walls, it can easily seep inside and even damage your home’s foundation over time. Ensuring you keep up good gutter and downspout maintenance each year can help protect your home and its foundation against water damage in the fall and winter.

In addition, leaky pipes can cause water damage throughout a home, and standing water is an open invitation to pests and mold growth. Before the temperatures drop, ensure your home’s pipes are working well, any leaks are identified and fixed, and any standing water removed immediately. It’s also a good idea to insulate these pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting when the weather turns cold.

Finally, ensure your roof is ready for wet fall days and cold winter weather. Roofs are disproportionately impacted by fall and winter storms, which may bring water, high winds, and heavy snow. Before weather-related home damages can occur, ensure your roof is in good condition for fall.  

Winterizing Your Hose

Once you’ve winterized your garden and outdoor areas, it’s time to winterize your outdoor hoses as well. Before the temperature drops for winter, disconnect hoses and drain the water inside. Turn off the water supply to outdoor faucets and leave the handle in an open position to release pressure. You can also install insulating covers over your hose bibbs.

Preparing Indoor Areas For Fall

Before the temperatures drop too far this fall, it’s important to get your HVAC units ready for increased use. Schedule HVAC unit service before winter weather begins and to improve output, ensure that windows, doors, and around the HVAC unit are insulated. Reducing drafts throughout the home can help lower your energy bills and guard against water damage.

Water damage can impact your home’s foundation as well. Schedule a free foundation inspection to ensure no cracks or leaks are identified. If foundation damages are discovered, fix them before temperatures change and winter weather can make the problem worse. For basements and crawl spaces, professional floodproofing can help reduce moisture build-up, minimize pests, and protect against rainy fall weather.

Here’s a full checklist of fall maintenance items to help protect your home and its foundation.

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Seasonal Maintenance Tips For Basements And Crawl Spaces Printable Groundworks

For a free home inspection to get you ready for fall, including information on basement waterproofing, contact local foundation repair experts.