The long hot summer of 2019 in Maryland is coming to an end!
Record-breaking heat may finally give way to much cooler temperatures. There is even a colder than usual winter predicted for this region.
It seems like forever since cool weather but now that fall has finally arrived there are some important home foundation maintenance tips you can do to keep your home in good shape:
- Clean out your gutters: By now, your gutters are probably filled with leaves, grass, dirt, branches, plants and other debris. When it rains, full gutters are filled and the water will seep into the foundation instead of running out of the gutters into your yard. So, have them cleaned and cleared out.
- Check for mold: Mold can be found anywhere and everywhere. So, inspect your windows, doors, water softener tanks, well pressure tanks, bathtubs, toilet tanks, and bathroom ceilings. Also, inspect your crawlspace and storage room. Once the mold is eliminated, have ventilation installed to prevent future mold infestation.
- Check for cracks in your foundation: So crucial! Walk around your home foundation and see if there are any cracks. Cracks, large or small, may indicate settling and sinking of the foundation. If you find any cracks, take photos and call your home foundation repair contractor.
- Check for cracks in your masonry or siding: Cracks in your siding or masonry may also indicate foundation issues. Look for cracks. If you find any, have a home repair contractor fix them.
- Inspect the grade around your home: “Grading” is the level of the ground around your home that directs water and rain away from your home. Look to see if stormwater is collecting around your home. Most water penetration in a home’s foundation is due to surface water not being managed properly. Look, especially, under downspouts and window wells that are adjacent to exterior steps.
- Look at your roof: Check for buckling, cracked or missing shingles. Also, look for black algae stains which may signal decaying boards beneath.
- Check your ductwork and water heater: 20%-30% of the air that is lost in the home is due to poorly connected ducts and holes in the ductwork. Also, is your water heater blanket secured properly? Use foam pipe insulators, as they are cheaper and they help heat the water up much quicker.
- Furnace check: Replace your air filter. Clogged filters make your furnace run longer and less efficiently. Check to see that your furnace turns on automatically once the thermostat is turned up. Lastly, remove torn or loose insulation on the coolant lines and remove brush or weeds blocking the air from the heat exchanger.
- Take care of your trees and shrubs: Your trees and shrubs may be in decay. If so, you may want to hire an arborist. But you can also do preventative maintenance by cutting out the dead branches.
- Rake leaves: Lots of leaves on your lawn may inhibit grass growth in the spring. So, regularly rake or mulch your leaves during fall months.
- Shut off exterior faucets and hoses: Frozen pipes can cause major water damage inside and outside your home. So, be sure to turn off the water to exterior faucets when temperatures begin to dip below freezing.
Fall is truly the perfect time here in Central Maryland to make sure your home foundation, and all that is around it, is maintained and, if needed, repairs are made. So, begin now and check off the above list to protect your biggest property investment.
M Taylor Enterprise, Montgomery County, Maryland, has licensed and experienced professional foundation repair specialists who can do a thorough review of your structure and make recommendations. Call us for a consultation at (301) 649-3406 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.