Preparing your home for winter is important, but did you know that your basement requires special cold-weather attention? Basements tend to get overlooked by homeowners when the temperatures drop. But because furnaces, water heaters, HVAC systems, hot water pipes, and other utilities are often located in the basement, this area of your home is especially susceptible to frozen pipes, leaks, and other water damage in Denver. Now that the snow has arrived, don’t hesitate any longer to winterize your basement. And if you’re not able to take some of these steps now, keep them in mind for next winter when you can adequately plan for them.
- Waterproof – It may go without saying, but thoroughly waterproofing your basement before winter is one of the best things you can do for your basement. If water is present in the winter, it can freeze and cause cracks in your walls and damage to your framing. Basement waterproofing includes using waterproofing paints and primers to repair minor leaks and applying crack injections or masonry caulking to the places where water can enter. It can also involve excavating the foundation of your home and installing a drainage system, such as a French drain.
- Prevent energy loss – Basements can be cold and drafty, which means the rooms above can get cold, too. To keep in the heat, think about replacing basement windows that are single-paned and steel-framed with double-paned, more durable vinyl windows, as they’ll be better able to seal out cold temperatures and wind. You should also consider insulating your basement walls with a waterproof wall board, which won’t get damaged if your basement is damp. And you can install a floor system, which creates airspace between a cold concrete layer and the floor surface above. These insulation measures can help you save on your energy bill, not to mention prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Take control of humidity – Even with waterproofing, your basement may still feel damp. If you can find an energy-efficient dehumidifier rated for use in basements, or “below-grade spaces,” this will go a long way toward drawing the damp out of your basement and regulating the interior temperature. But there’s another good reason to use a dehumidifier, especially in the winter. Humidity in the basement can cause pipes to quickly rust and damage, which—along with freezing temperatures—creates added strain. If your basements walls feel moist, it’s definitely time to invest in this problem-solver.
- Don’t forget the exterior – Exterior entrances to your basement, as well as exterior protrusions such as pipes and ductwork, should also be insulated. You can apply weather stripping to doors and insulate pipes with expanding foam or a similar product.
Check out these additional ways to winterize your home and prevent water damage. And should you experience frozen pipes, leaks, or any other winter-related issue, look to Nubilt Construction to address the problem quickly and restore your home. Call 303-368-4688 for 24/7 emergency response.