Our homes experience the changes in the seasons in the same way that we do and when you start to notice a chill in the air, there is a good probability that your home is also experiencing these changes. If you take a few easy actions to get your house ready for the cooler season, you may save a significant amount of money on the costs of both electricity and maintenance.
The most important thing to do is to keep a close eye on the temperature and humidity levels both inside and outside of your house.
How can I prevent moisture from entering my home, whether it is in the basement or the crawl space?
You need to make sure that water is flowing away from your home’s foundation by walking around the whole perimeter of your property. In order to guarantee adequate drainage, the soil around the house should slope away from it at a rate of at least one inch per foot for a distance of at least six feet. If it remains there for an extended period of time, even a tiny amount of stored water might begin to threaten the integrity of your foundation.
The use of rain water in your lawn and garden may be beneficial, but it can be damaging to the structural components of your home. Perform a thorough inspection of your gutters, downspouts, and leader pipes now, before the weather becomes too cold and rainy to be outside.
The debris can be removed with a garden trowel, and then the downspouts can be flushed out with a pail of water. If you locate any obstructions in the downspouts, you should be able to remove them without much difficulty using a typical plumber’s snake.
In addition, water can get into your house if the shingles on the roof are wavy or broken, or if the seals and caulking around the windows and doors have shrunk or cracked due to the passage of time. In each location where an architectural element such as a window, door, or chimney penetrates another surface such as roofing or siding, you need to check that all of the seals are intact and in good condition. Investing in a few inexpensive tubes of caulking now can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
How can I make sure that my house is warm throughout the fall and winter?
Keeping your energy costs from figuratively flying out the window can be accomplished in the most efficient and cost-effective manner by replacing weather stripping that has been damaged or is missing entirely. In addition to examining the weather stripping around doors and windows, you should also inspect the wall or attic penetrations where satellite, cable, or other utility services enter your home to ensure that they are all securely sealed and tightly positioned.
If you can’t believe it, ceiling fans can actually help you save a significant amount of money on your energy costs during the fall and winter. You can rapidly change the setting on every fan motor in the house to the opposite direction in just a few minutes. This will cause the fans to pull heated air back down into the room when it climbs to the ceiling. Because of this, you will be able to choose a setting that is more conservative on your thermostat and cycle the heater less frequently.
Your water heater should be set to a temperature of approximately 120 degrees. Because a significant portion of the additional heat is lost before the water reaches your tap, increasing the temperature will result in a waste of energy dollars. You can save a significant amount of money by installing a timer that turns off the water heater during the hours that people are often either absent from the house or asleep.
You may reduce your expenses by putting technology to work for you. In the past several years, there has been a significant advancement in home automation, and as a result, the prices of more inexpensive solutions for replacing inefficient mechanical controls with digital controls that maximize the use of energy and appliances have decreased.
What is the most effective measure I can take to protect my house?
A routine check of your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers should be performed during the autumn months. Follow the testing instructions provided by the manufacturer, check that the batteries are in good condition, and make sure that all of the components are clean and in good operating order.
It is also a good idea to make sure that a fire extinguisher that is in good working order and is rated for all classes of fires is easily accessible on each floor.
It is a good idea to have professional inspections performed on any heating sources in your home that have been dormant for a few months before turning them back on to generate heat. Be on the lookout for blockages and buildup in ducts, vents, and drains in order to ensure that heat can travel in a secure manner to the appropriate location. It is important to ensure that the filters are clean and to remove creosote and soot from fireplaces and wood stoves.
The natural settling of construction materials can cause minor cracks in a variety of building components, including walls, footings, sidewalks, and driveways. These cracks are typically innocuous.
What to Do in Case of Fissures?
If, on the other hand, the fissures are growing and shifting, this may be an indication that there are problems with the foundation deeper down or that there is water damage that is hidden. If these problems are ignored, the onset of cold and wet weather can make the situation much worse, which could result in significant and expensive structural damage.
In addition to being a good practice for preventative maintenance, checking the foundation of your home for cracks and carefully inspecting the walls and floors for any signs of mold or mildew is not only important for your health but can also have an effect on the air quality throughout your entire residence. Musty odors, newly discolored surfaces, persistent coughing and runny noses, and other symptoms like these could be indications of moisture or mold issues that require care.
The sweltering heat of summer will finally give way to more bearable temperatures in the fall, which is just around the horizon. If you own a home, you might be wondering what steps you should take this fall to keep the foundation in good condition.
After all, the fluctuations in weather that occur in Texas can cause foundation fractures and other problems. During the current season, it is recommended that you receive some advice on how to properly protect your pier and beam or slab foundation.
Precaution To Protect Exterior of Home Foundation In Fall
When thinking about ways to maintain the integrity of your foundation, one option to keep in mind is to stop water from leaking in underneath it. The foundation of your home could sustain significant damage if you do not have a good foundation drainage system and if there is heavy rainfall.
It has the potential to shake up concrete slabs and bring about the growth of mold and mildew in crawl spaces. If you do not already have gutters, you should have them installed so that you can protect your foundation from the fall weather. Be sure to connect them to downspouts that direct the water a sufficient distance away from your home in order to avoid any problems related to moisture.
Because October is a very wet month in Texas it is good to inspect your property to determine whether or not the dirt is correctly graded away from your foundation. This is especially important if you live in an area that experiences a lot of flooding. If your property has a downward slope, you should get in touch with a landscaping company to have the land near to your house regraded. The presence of stagnant water might be the cause of significant degradation.
Additional Steps To Protect Your Home Foundation In fall
The onset of fall brings a wide variety of issues that are related to the home. Cracks on the interior or exterior of your home could be an indication that there is something wrong with the foundation. It’s also possible that all your home needs is a fresh coat of caulk around the frames of its windows and doors to get it back in shape.
Before the really cold winter sets in, you are going to want to make any necessary repairs to the windows and doors that have huge gaps surrounding them. The expansive clay soil that is prevalent in Texas swells up when it gets wet, and the movement that ensues as a result of this can cause the fractures in your foundation to become significantly larger.
In addition to this, any breaches or cracks that are significant enough to let air through can also allow small animals to enter your home. If your home has a large slab foundation fracture, it may potentially allow water to enter your home. Make sure that your foundation is secure by conducting a careful check of it.
This Fall, if you are concerned about the stability of your foundation, you should get in touch with Foundations MD to schedule a free foundation evaluation.