Your property’s crawl space may be out of sight, but before and during winter months you should keep it firmly at the forefront of your mind. After all, this is one of the most vulnerable spots in your home; it is more open to the elements, less insulated, and generally more susceptible to infestation than any other part of a property. That’s why it is important to take steps to protect your home.
The Dangers of Ice in Your Crawl Space
While many people are aware of the dangers that dampness in a crawl space can pose, few people realize that ice and frost can be just as bad (if not worse). After all, dampness and ice are indelibly linked! When winter comes around in Springfield, MO, it can be incredibly harsh. All the water which seeps into your crawl space or pools around your home can and will freeze solid, putting pressure on the structure of your property and exacerbating existing damage. The most common issues associated with ice in a crawl space include:
- Burst or frozen pipes
- Warped support joists
- Cracks the property’s walls or foundation
These issues, in turn, can lead to more problems, especially when the spring thaw comes. If you have existing cracks, for example, ice could make them wider, and in spring more water will get into your crawl space. This issue will only continue to grow, year after year, so if you notice any of these issues you should pay close attention. Your property may need repairs!
How to Keep Ice Out of Your Crawl Space
Taking care of your crawl space this winter doesn’t have to be a huge task; even simple tasks will make a huge difference to the safety of your property. These four steps will go a long way to keeping your crawl space free from excess water and ice.
Clean Out Your Gutters
Take a few hours to clear out your gutters and ground-level drainage systems. The best way to prevent ice buildup is to minimize the moisture in and around your crawl space. So, remove debris and sediment buildup from your gutter systems and flush them with a hose before winter comes. This will not prevent them from freezing, of course, but it will ensure that they are in good working order when the ice and snow do thaw.
Prepare Your Yard
Properly grading your yard is something that landscaping professionals can do for you—this will help you to angle water away from your home and improve drainage. What you can do by yourself, however, is research the right mix of plants and bushes to maximize drainage and moisture management. Doing this will also minimize the risks of soil shifting and erosion.
Maintain Your Sump Pump
Your sump pump is one of the most frequently used appliances in your home, especially in winter and fall when Springfield, MO, can be incredibly wet and stormy. If you book a maintenance appointment for your sump pump you can rest easy knowing that it won’t fail you at the worst possible time. Nonetheless, you should also regularly check your sump pump discharge line to ensure it does not freeze.
Clear Some Space
When the snow does start to fall you should add your property perimeter to your usual shoveling route. Clear a path around your home, leaving at least half a foot of space between the snow you pile and your perimeter. This will not only lessen the hard ice forming on your perimeter wall, but it will divert the majority of snowmelt away from your perimeter. This will minimize the water seeping into your crawl space and refreezing, thereby providing a better climate in your crawl space.
These simple tasks, with some help from the experts, will keep your property safer and more secure this winter.
Trust the Professionals When You See Damage
If you see damage to your property when undertaking these jobs or routine inspections, please do not hesitate to contact a professional. Booking an inspection with Foundation Recovery Systems is completely free and comes without any obligations. This represents a perfect time in which to find out just what your home needs in order to stay healthy; this knowledge will help you to make an informed decision.