Here in Michigan we receive quite the amount of snow each year, which often raises concern among homeowners. Heavy snowfall can lead to flooding in your basement if you are not prepared for the winter, and that flooding can come with a host of additional problems. With colder temperatures, water turns to ice, and as ice expands, so do the cracks in your basement’s walls. In addition to making sure your sump pump is functioning properly, it’s important to take several steps to winterize your basement in preparation for this winter.
Here at StayDry, we know the issues that can arise throughout the winter, as basement floods are far from uncommon at this time of year. Michigan winters bring an abundance of water each year, and it can be detrimental to your home. In an effort to help our fellow Michigan homeowners prevent basement floods and any water entry issues, we’ve compiled a list of steps to take as we prepare for winter each year. Let’s jump right in.
Dry Basement Solutions: 3 Tips to Stay Dry through Winter
Check Humidity Levels: Basements typically see a lot of problems with dampness, which leads to mold growth. Basements are just as likely to see problems with mold in the winter as they are with the summer humidity, especially if your basement has a higher level of humidity. It’s important to check the levels using a humidistat, a device similar to a thermostat that can regulate the humidity in the air.
If your basement’s humidity levels are more than 50 percent, then it’s time to consider a dehumidifier or even an electric heater in your basement this winter for a couple of hours a day.
Wrap the Pipes: Insulate your basement this winter to avoid freezing pipes. Freezing pipes are a major contributor to flooding in the basement as they can eventually burst. Unfinished basements usually have more problems with freezing pipes than those that are finished, as finished basements eliminate heating and insulation problems. Protect any exposed pipes from the cold by wrapping them in rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass insulation is available at most hardware stores, and is simple and affordable. If you tend to have a colder basement or one that is generally unheated, this is crucial to prevent any bursting pipes that will later lead to problems.
Cover Basement Windows: While basement windows don’t usually have curtains, it’s beneficial in the winter to cover them with plastic film. A thick, plastic layer over your basement windows will seal in heat. With large amounts of heat lost due to poor window insulation, your basement may become damp, allowing mold to grow.
Additionally, check the weatherstripping around windows and doors. Weatherstripping prevents heat loss, but also any possible leaks. If they appear damaged, make sure to replace. Some homeowners will go as far to install double-paned replacement windows to eliminate a draft.
Fully Protect Your Home with StayDry
As you can see, there’s plenty you can do to keep your home dry throughout Michigan’s harsh winters. Of course, you can do plenty more to prevent basement floods and any other issue that may arise through the state’s wet conditions. StayDry provides a variety of quality and professional services, guaranteed to keep you and your home protected.
If you’d like to learn more about our services or schedule a free estimate, give us a call at 800.800.7073 or contact us here.