Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Tabraiz
While we love fall’s gorgeous display of colors, we can do without the season’s buildup of moisture inside our basements and crawl spaces. After all, serious moisture issues can turn into extensive and expensive repairs.
Basements are especially vulnerable to damage from water, pests, and mold. That’s why it’s essential to take care of your basement and perform some simple fall maintenance tasks to keep the space in top condition. Save time and money this fall with these tips.
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Inspect Your Basement for Water Damage
The first thing you should do is inspect your basement for signs of water damage. Look for leaks, cracks, and damp spots on walls and the floor. If you find water damage, repair it immediately to prevent further issues.
The best way to know whether you have water damage in your basement is to see everything in the space clearly. Use a headlamp to brighten dark corners and eliminate shadows. The great thing about headlamps is they leave your hands free to move objects out of the way without pausing to put your light down. Other than maintenance, headlamps are useful for everything from everyday household tasks to seeing your way around the house during power outages.
Check for Pests
Pests are another common problem in the fall. Rodents and insects can find their way into your basement in search of food and shelter. Once they’re in, they can be difficult to get rid of. That’s why it’s important to prevent infestations and inspect your basement regularly for signs of pests, such as droppings, gnaw marks, and nests.
If you find evidence of rodents, insects, or other pesky intruders, contact a pest control professional to get rid of them. Also, ask how the pests got into your home, so you can take measures to ensure they don’t get in again.
Prevent Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew can grow in damp, dark basements and cause serious health problems. Those with allergies or respiratory conditions are especially vulnerable to mold and mildew’s harmful effects. Rather than deal with a current outbreak, prevent excess moisture from building up in your basement.
Keep the humidity level in your basement low by using a dehumidifier. You should also regularly clean areas where mold and mildew are likely to grow, such as showers, toilets, and sinks.
Store Belongings Off the Floor
One of the best ways to protect your belongings from water damage, mold, and pests is to store them off the floor. For example, keep boxes containing valuables on shelves, and use plastic containers to store items particularly susceptible to damage, such as clothing and electronics.
Check Your Home’s Drainage System
Another great way to protect your basement from the effects of water damage in the fall is to clean your home’s drainage system. Leaves, debris, and similar items can clog your gutters and cause water to collect near your home’s foundation.
Other than cleaning your gutters, check that you point your downspouts away from your home. Left angled at your property, downspouts can cause water to pool around exterior walls. Funnel water away from your basement to protect your home’s foundation.
Reseal Basement Windows
Not only can light trickle in through your basement windows, but water can, too. Sills and wells are especially vulnerable to water infiltration if they’re damaged or have compromised sealant.
Check that your basement’s window wells drain properly, and inspect the sealant for damage. If you notice cracks or missing sealant, reseal your entire window. If your windows continue leaking after restoring them, you could have a more severe issue for a professional to inspect.
Autumn is more enjoyable when you’re outside enjoying the foilage rather than inside dealing with maintenance issues. Following these simple fall tips can keep your basement in top condition and prevent serious problems from developing.