Fall is just around the corner, and so are seasonal favorites like football, pumpkin spiced “you name it” drinks and cooler weather temperatures. But, with the arrival of cooling temps come new environmental stresses to your home. As fall progresses to winter, these stressors become even mores severe, potentially causing a myriad of problems for your basement, crawl space or entire home.
Now is the perfect time to get started on home improvements for the fall season, and Crawl Space & Basement Technologies has some great tips to keep your home clean, dry and functioning at optimal energy levels.
Fall Preparation Tips for Your Raleigh Home
Tips for Interior Home Improvements for the Fall Season
Look for holes in your attic during daytime hours. Find the areas where light enters and seal the areas. You may not be able to find all the cracks present. Sometimes a draft can be felt to point you in the right direction.
Over time insulation can break down and lose much of its thermal insulating ability. Older homes are notorious for poor insulation and that can cause sky rocketing heating costs in colder months.
A spray foam insulation has been found to provide the best insulation rating on the market. Choosing spray insulation is a great way to seal all the cracks and voids that can’t be found by looking or feeling for drafts. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so yourself, contact our crawl space and basement insulation experts to ensure your insulation is properly installed and in place.
Basements and Crawl Spaces
In your basement, check for signs of water around baseboards and any windows. Water is notorious for finding its way into unfinished basements and crawl spaces. These areas can easily become overrun with pests like spiders, camel crickets, and mice. Air quality suffers as a result and mold and mildew formations grow.
If there are signs of water, immediately contact your local crawl space waterproofing and basement waterproofing professionals to rectify this issue, promote better air quality, and prevent water and pests from entering your home.
Look for pooling and other signs of standing water around your sump pump. Test humidity levels in basements and crawl spaces to make sure these are not havens for potential mold growth and pest infestation.
Seal Gaps and Crevices
Remove the potential for problems with crawl space encapsulation and waterproofing. Homeowners can reduce energy bills significantly and prevent water damage in the home’s interior by choosing to encapsulate these areas.
HVAC System Clean and Filter Change
Cleaning your HVAC ducts and conducting regular filter changes can add to the longevity of the system and improve the air quality in your home. The glue on duct tape can deteriorate, and over time the tape can sag and fall, exposing the creases in duct work to crawl space air.
Removing the old and adding new, fresh tape to ducts is a quick and inexpensive repair that can reduce the energy bill each month.
Fall Exterior Home Improvement Projects
Foundation and Flower Beds
Your home’s foundation is an area often overlooked, but of the utmost importance regarding home care. Your Fall maintenance checklist should always include a foundation check to make sure your home isn’t losing precious foundation soil.
Adding shrubs or flower beds surrounding the home can ease erosion from wind and water runoff. Be sure to maintain these areas and keep them clean as well. Decaying plant matter like leaves and mulch attract insects and the moisture can lead to issues in the foundation or crawl space.
Part of your water diversion system requires ample attention to landscaping. Homes in hilly areas like Raleigh should pay even more close attention to landscaping. A wooden timber placed in the right location can prevent water from finding its way into your home. Flowers and trees can soak up standing water in warmer months, and their roots can help hold soil from runoff in colder seasons.
Rain Gutters Clean Out and Repairs
Clean gutters and make sure water is able to funnel down the spout correctly. Clogged gutters prevent the rainwater from following the proper channel, often spilling over in the corners or simply cascading off the roof. Soil and foundation erosion are common problems from improperly functioning gutters. Add to that, water that doesn’t flow can back up and leak into the home.
Check Paths and Walkways
Paths and walkways should be swept free of clutter and kept clear throughout Fall and Winter. Cracking and buckling concrete should be repaired to avoid slips and falls. Add drainage or trenches where needed to divert water away from paths. Standing water can erode soil, and freezing water will expand in cracks causing worsening issues.
Inspect Siding, Exterior Paint and Wood
Repair Siding and Rotten Wood
Your Raleigh home’s exterior will take a beating over the course of it’s lifetime. The best way to help extend the life of your home is with proper care and maintenance of the exterior shell. By removing and replacing rotten wood sections, or making sure the vinyl siding is in great shape, you can really keep up the value of the home.
Repaint Your Home
Chipping paint is unsightly and can really cause problems if left to deteriorate further. Paint provides a seal to wood surfaces that acts as a barrier to the elements. Over time the sun exposure, changing temperatures, and the constant bombardment from rain, dust and other debris can beat away the protective coating.
Make sure to apply fresh paint to your home when needed. Most higher quality exterior paints have a lifespan of at least 5 years.
Doors, Windows and Screens
Old drafty windows and doors can take a toll on energy efficiency. You may not realize it, but a small gap can suck out conditioned air like a vacuum, especially in extreme temperatures. Consider replacing old single pane window with newer, more energy efficient double panes.
Sometimes moisture will build up within a double paned window. This means the wind seal has ruptured and the gas between the panes has escaped. This can be fixed with the help of a professional window technician.
Weather Stripping Doors and Windows
If replacing windows and doors is not in your current budget you can upgrade your weather stripping to create a solid seal. Additionally, scraping old, crumbling caulk and replacing it with a new can make a huge difference!
There are many types of roofing materials for homes. Popular options are tin sheets and asphalt shingles. However, other options are available, depending on how your home was built. Each option provides years of maintenance free living, but occasionally a repair must be made.
Snow and water can find its way into even the tiniest crevice. It is important to repair roof leaks and missing shingles to stop and prevent further water intrusion.
Freeze Proof Outdoor Plumbing and Faucets
Prepare Outdoor Faucets and Lawn Irrigation with Insulation. Wrapping pipes and faucets with special rated insulation can help you avoid damage to exterior pipes. A flooding yard is a disaster and when adding in the difficulty of working with frozen ground, the repair job can become a nightmare. Taking care of your faucets in the Fall, can really help you avoid a major water problem during Winter.
Check Outside Electrical Outlets
External outlets should be properly grounded and sealed if exposed to the elements. Rainwater run off into an outlet can cause a short that could cause severe hassle during a cold weather storm.
Contact the Experienced Raleigh Waterproofing and Insulation Specialists
There is no better time than now to begin preparing your property for the fall and winter seasons. To ensure that your home is protected from flooding or to schedule a consultation for attic insulation, contact our waterprooﬁng specialists here at Crawl Space & Basement Technologies.