Is Your Home Ready for the Harsh Indiana Winters?
This winter is supposed to be really bad in Indiana with lots of snow and extremely cold temperatures. With Christmas just around the corner and lots of us taking a day or two off from work, now might be a good time to make sure your home is prepped and ready for the harsh Indiana winter weather. In this blog, we will go over steps and tips to take to reduce the risk of water and mold damage to your Indiana home.
Clean the Gutters and Roof
Now that all the leaves have fallen off the trees, you will want to check your gutters to make sure they are clean. If they full or clogged, they could become damaged over the winter as water pools and freezes in the gutters putting excessive weight on them. You’ll also want to make sure any dead branches are removed off the roof and make sure that the water from the gutters is flowing away from your home and its foundation. It’s best to choose a day that is dry to clean out your gutters as roofs can be slippery and dangerous when wet.
You also may want to trim back any branches, especially dead ones, to keep them from breaking and falling on your roof over the winter. While you are on the roof, you’ll also want to check the flashing around the chimney and the seals around the exhaust pipes on your roof to make sure no water finds its way into your home.
Check Seals Around Windows and Doors
Once you're done with cleaning out the gutters and checking the roof, you’ll want to walk around the house and check all of your windows and doors for broken seals, cracks, or other areas where the cold air and water can get into your home.
You also want to check around your foundation for standing water and cracks in the foundation. Cracks in the foundation can get worse in the winter as water seeps into the cracks and freeze causing expansion and further damage to your foundation. If you find cracks, you will want to seal them before they get worse. If you find standing water you may want to make sure your gutters are directing the water away from your home and grading the ground to slope away from your home’s foundation.
Check for Leaks and Water in Your Basement and Crawl Space
Indiana winters tend to be very wet keeping the ground around your home saturated. With so much water and moisture outside, it’s important to check your crawl space and basement for water leaks and high moisture. You want to seal any cracks or leaks and possibly use a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture out of the air. If the moisture is too high, it can lead to mold growth in your crawl space and/or basement. You also want to test your sump pump to make sure it is working properly.
Insulate Pipes and Turn Off Faucets
While you are in the basement and crawl space, you will want to cut off the water to your outside faucets to reduce the risk of them freezing and bursting. You also may want to insulate and exposed water pipes in your crawl space and/or basement. This is an especially important step to take in a crawl space as crawl spaces tend not to be insulated or heated and can get extremely cold in the winter. Under the most extreme cold temperatures, water pipes could freeze and burst.
Change Out Air and Furnace Filters
Changing out your furnace filter will not only reduce the wear and tear on your furnace, but it will also reduce the risk of fire. With a dirty furnace filter, dust can quickly build up and your heater will be operating more often to keep your home warm. The excess dust and the heater working overtime can increase the risk of fire as the dust can be combustible. It’s also not good for the air quality or your utility bill.
If you have other air filters, make sure to check them out and replace them if needed also. Another risk from the excess dust is mold growth. If the humidity is too high in the air, it can increase the chance of mold growing on the dust in your air ducts.
Get Prepared for Indiana Winters
By taking the steps mentioned above, you can greatly reduce the chance of water, mold and/or fire damage to your home. If you should experience water, fire or mold damage to your home this winter, it’s important to act quickly to reduce further damage and call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and equipment to handle any Indiana winter home and business emergency. Even a small leak can result in extensive water and mold damage if not dealt with quickly. Give them a call any time and any day for your fire, water and mold damage problems.