Get Your Basement Ready for Fall Weather with This Waterproofing Checklist

preparing your basement for fall

When autumn arrives, there can be plenty of anticipation in the air. You’ve got the holidays coming, family visiting, and a home to prepare for the colder months ahead.

The first step on your fall preparation checklist is to ensure your basement is ready for the upcoming weather changes. When leaks appear in this space, they are more than a minor inconvenience. Moisture’s presence leads to mold and mildew growth issues. It can attract pests or create structural damage.

These basement maintenance tips for the fall season ensure that this space can stay dry throughout the months ahead.

Fall Exterior Maintenance Needs for Basements

Your first task is to inspect your foundation to ensure it doesn’t have any cracks forming that could let moisture into the basement. Place caulk around the spaces where pipes or wires enter to prevent heat loss. If you see anything more than a quarter-inch wide, bulging walls, or cracks around windows and door frames, contact a waterproofing contractor immediately for a professional evaluation.

Here are some additional steps you’ll want to take after ensuring there aren’t any cracks or bulging.

  • Clean the gutters and downspouts to ensure precipitation flows away from the foundation. If they are over ten years old, consider replacing these items to ensure there isn’t a higher risk of water damage.
  • Remove clutter and debris from window wells. It helps to install approved covers that allow light to enter while keeping pests, leaves, or moisture out of these spaces.
  • Inspect window and door frames to ensure no weatherstripping is necessary to prevent heat loss.
  • Apply exterior waterproofing in areas where coverage is light or if you’re unsure of when this service was last provided to your home.

Fall Interior Maintenance Needs for Basements

Since a basement is built below the ground, it tends to be damp, humid, and wet at some point during the year. Melting snow, heavy rains, and other precipitation events can cause puddles or flooding.

You’ll want to complete these interior maintenance needs before the first heavy frost arrives in Toronto.

  • Check for signs of excess moisture or water leaks. Musty smells in the basement indicate rotted wood, mold, or mildew. Additional issues include chalk stains, peeling paint, or product damage.
  • Inspect basement windows to ensure the frames are tight and the glass isn’t cracked. Apply caulk and other interior waterproofing agents around any areas with potential gaps to prevent heat loss.
  • Look for signs of pest activity, including roaches and rodents. Higher humidity levels in the basement can sometimes attract termites.
  • If your basement has a sump pump, ensure it operates as expected. Have it turned on and connected to a reliable power source.

A flooded basement is not a chore you want to manage on your to-do list this year. Cleaning up that mess and repairing the foundation afterward can be expensive and time-consuming. When you follow this list of essential maintenance tasks to complete when autumn arrives, you’ll effectively reduce the risk of experiencing a damp basement.

If you require help to complete this work, contact your locally trusted waterproofing contractor for assistance.