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Fall Home Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Home’s Foundation

Posted on October 22, 2013

Fall is the time of year to inspect and repair damage to your home before the winter is upon you.

Labor Day is the unofficial sign that summer is over.  In North Carolina, we will get many more hot days along with some chilly nights but it’s a great time to take a look at your home and get those little tasks done that will make a big difference over the winter months.   Being proactive with your home maintenance will help you keep your operating costs down and save you major home improvement costs in the future.

Atlantic Foundation provides a Fall Home Maintenance Checklist to assist homeowners with a quick assessment and ideas for what to watch for.  By being proactive with repairs and assessing your home’s health, you can monitor issues and prevent large financially draining home repairs.

Outside the home

  • Clear debris out of window wells, gutters, downspouts, and storm drains.
  • Remove garden hoses from spouts. Drain and store for the winter. Wrap spouts in insulation.
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
  • Check windows, doors, and siding for holes and cracks. Caulk as necessary.
  • Check weather stripping on windows and doors for fit and condition. Replace as necessary.
  • Inspect all soffit vents and other venting systems to make sure they’re clear of debris.
  • Check painted surfaces for paint failure, water damage, or mildew. Repair or repaint if necessary.
  • Check caulking where two different materials meet, where wood siding joins the foundation wall, at inside corners, and where the window and door trim meets the siding.
  • Insulate outdoor faucets, pipes in unheated garages, and pipes in crawl spaces with materials such as rags or newspapers.
  • Inspect for cracks outside the home
  • Check for cracks in the brickwork
  • Is there cracks around crawl space vents?
  • Is the crack “running”?
  • Does water from the roof run away from the house?
  • Is there standing water near the foundation?

Inside the Home

  • Replace your furnace filter.
  • Make sure you have proper insulation in both your attic and basement. While checking your insulation, if you see any dark, dirty spots, it may indicate you have air leaks coming into your home.
  • Check your home around windows and doors for air leaks. An easy way to check for leaks is to move a lighter around the window or door frame and see if the flame moves with a breeze. If you find a leak, you can caulk it or you may have to replace the wood frame. Repairing these leaks can save you money on your energy bill during the cold months.
  • Check for water leaks in ceiling. Repair if needed.
  • Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss.
  • Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring.

Inspect for cracks inside the home

  • Check for cracks around doorframes.
  • Do doors shut correctly?
  • Do closet doors stick?
  • Is your floor tile cracking?
  • Do you have squeaky floorboards?

Water is one of the biggest culprits for foundation problems in North Carolina.  Water left to puddle around your foundation is asking for a host of problems down the road.

Atlantic Foundation counsels homeowners to include a foundation check and water drainage check with each fall home inspection. This allows homeowners to quickly assess if there is a potential for future damage and make the necessary adjustments.

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