Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

Getting Your Home Ready for Winter.

Cold weather is starting to set in.  And before you are finished working outside, you should ensure your home, and your foundation, are ready for Winter.

First, clean the gutters.  Wait until most leaves have fallen and either clean the gutters yourself or pay to have it done.  And when they are cleaned out, run some water through each section to ensure it drains to the downspout.  Gutters may settle over time and if they don’t drain, water will sit in them and freeze.  That adds weight to the length of the gutter and may pull it away from the house.  A good handyman can ensure that each section of gutter is slightly angled to drain properly.

Second, ensure that extensions or splash blocks are properly placed and that downspouts empty into them.  If you use extenders, make sure they are properly placed and direct water away from the house.  Secure them to the ground so that they don’t wander during a storm. A good rule of thumb is to have the water carried a minimum of ten feet or to a point where the slope of the ground falls away from the home.

Third, drain and close outdoor faucets and insulate them.  A styrofoam insulator with a strap to attach it to the faucet will cost very little and are found at most hardware stores. A frozen faucet can burst and allow water to run for hours.  Just one event of this kind can contribute to a crack in your foundation.  I have seen it happen.

Fourth, test your sump pump.  Pour water into the reservoir until the float trips the pump.  Pumps that are submerged will only last about a decade.  Older units may need to be replaced.  And if you don’t already have one, SEALED strongly recommends a battery back-up.  The night of a big storm is also the night that the power is likely to go out.   And if it does, without back-up you won’t have a working sump.  Don’t have a sump in your basement?  Give some consideration to adding one.   It is a good investment and will help you sell your home when the time comes.

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