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It’s that time of year again, when we pull out our sweaters, overcoats, and snow gear, and generally brace ourselves for the cold. While you’re getting ready for wintry weather, though, make sure you don’t overlook your basement. Is it ready to withstand whatever winter may bring? Here are some signs your basement is not ready for winter.

  • Your basement windows feel a little breezy. If your windows aren’t properly sealed, you’ll notice a draft in your basement. Sealing your basement windows can prevent cold air from blowing into your home. Consider replacing them if they’re old or inefficient, but if you don’t want to replace them, at least make sure they’re weather-proofed, caulking around them if necessary.
  • It’s chilly in your basement. If your windows aren’t the problem but there’s a chill in the basement, you could need additional insulation. When your basement is properly insulated, it will help your home retain heat, and your HVAC system will work more effectively. While you’re in the basement, make sure to inspect for cracks, too. You’d be surprised at the tiny cracks that can make a big difference when you’re trying to keep out the cold.
  • Your exposed pipes are overexposed. The last thing you want in the winter is a burst pipe in your basement, but that can happen if your pipes are not properly insulated. It’s easy to protect them, though, with foam pipe covering found in home improvement stores.
  • Your ductwork is not up to par. Inspect your exposed ductwork, checking to see that it’s dust free. Use aluminum tape to seal joints, grooves, and leaks, or have the ductwork in your home professionally cleaned and serviced.
  • Your HVAC hasn’t been serviced. Before you ever switch on your heater in the winter, have your HVAC company come inspect and service it. This is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure that your home, including your basement, stays warm, and you don’t have any emergency issues with the furnace in the dead of winter.
  • The basement is musty, humid, or damp. When there’s an excess of moisture in the basement, it can cause a world of issues. The time to deal with basement moisture is now, before winter weather causes a flood. If you notice unpleasant smells, the humidity is high, you see signs of mold or mildew, or worse, there’s standing water in your basement after a storm, it’s time to have the basement waterproofed. Basement waterproofing makes a finished basement a pleasant place or guests, but even an unfinished basement needs to be waterproof, to prevent problems with your air quality and damage to your foundation.

Once you’ve got your basement ready for winter, there are some steps you should take to make sure it stays dry and warm. When it snows, don’t pile the snow against your house. The minute the temperature shifts one way or the other, the piled-up snow can cause a problem for your basement. Colder, and you could end up with ice dams that weaken your basement walls. Warmer, and a snow pile can melt and flood your basement. Additionally, all that expanding and contracting as the water freezes and thaws can really take a toll on your foundation and basement walls.

Keeping your gutters clean and correctly configured to carry melting snow away from the house. Gutters that empty too close to the foundation can create pools of water that make their way into your basement. Of course, you’ll need to keep your sump pump in good working order, too, in case any water does get into the basement, so it can be discharged from your home.

When it’s time to get your basement ready for winter, Budget Waterproofing can help. In addition to waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation, we provide foundation repair, going beyond patching cracks to find the source of the problem. We also offer installation of the EZ Breathe home ventilation system, to clean the air inside your home. At Budget Waterproofing, we’ve got more than 55 years of experience servicing both commercial and residential customers throughout Maryland. We’re proud of our craftsmanship and confident in our skills, and all of our technicians are fully licensed and insured. We also hold an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau of Maryland and serve as a member of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association. Whether you need foundation repair, basement waterproofing, a drainage system, crawl space waterproofing, or egress window installation, we’ve got you covered, with the experience and skills necessary to improve your basement and protect your family. For more information, call 410-609-1240 or contact us through our website.