Are you tired of this winter yet? I know we are, it seems to be a non-stop cycle of cold, ice, and snow. Let’s set all that aside and daydream about green grass, sunny skies, and warm temperatures.
Now is the time to think about getting ready for spring cleaning and repairs. You can take some time now to plan and take steps to make sure your home is strong, stable, and dry. With a few small tasks, you can determine if your home is in need of foundation repair or if it is something that you can handle yourself.
One of the clearest signs of foundation damage is discovering cracks. If you walk around the outside and inside of your home checking for cracks, you can save yourself a bigger problem later. Also, make sure to check walls, windows, doors, and other places where there are joints in the walls. There are a lot of different kinds and location of cracks and not all of them are serious. If you do find a crack, contact a professional (like Atlas Master Companies) to determine if it is something that needs to be repaired.
Another area to check is your floor, whether you have a basement, crawl space, or slab. Floor cracks in concrete or tiling are usually a big indicator of some foundation issues.
A common sign of foundation problems is usually ignored: sticking doors or windows. Some people fix the symptom by shaving window or door frames or making other superficial adjustments. If doors and windows are tough to open, or seem to close on their own, your foundation may be off-kilter. Some settling occurs over the years in every home, but an expert can tell you if it is something that is not only serious, but also fixable.
If the water coming off your roof doesn’t drain well away from your foundation, you’re going to have a bad time. The water should flow cleanly through the gutters, through the downspouts, and well away from the house. If your gutters are clogged, the water may spill over the sides, running down the foundation walls or pooling alongside the house.
Downspouts should also flow freely and empty around 5-10 feet away from the foundation. Make sure your gutters and downspouts aren’t clogged and are big enough to handle the water coming off of your roof. This is a pretty easy step that gets overlooked, but can save you a lot of stress down the road.
Even if your home was originally built with the right slope and grade, there are factors that can change the angle of the land. Vehicles, erosion, and landscaping can all impact your property’s grade. Make sure that land slopes away from your foundation, allowing rain and melting snow to flow away from your house.
If you have signs of foundation problems or aren’t sure what is going on with your foundation, give the pros at Atlas Master Companies a call. We’ll check out your property and, if there is a need, we’ll give you an estimate for any repairs. Contact us today to learn about foundation repair and more from Virginia’s best foundation repair company, Atlas Master Companies.
By implementing these simple steps in your home this year, you can save money on your energy bills and stay cozy all winter long. Take care of your home by acting now before the snow, ice, and cold take over. Here are some tips we have for you on winterizing your home:
Turn Down Your Water Heater – Did you know that 14-18% of your utility bill is from your water heating? Most installers set water heaters at 140 degrees – but many homeowners don’t need it to be that high. By reducing your water heater to 120 degrees, you can save 6-10% on your utility bill. Here’s a heat loss prevention tip for you as well: try covering your water heater with a water heater jacket!
Winterize Your Windows – To winterize your windows, purchase some caulk or weather strip at your local hardware store and apply it to seal air leaks throughout your home. For further air-tight sealing, we also recommend installing storm windows and storm doors during the colder months, which can increase your energy efficiency by 45%!
Clean Out Your Gutters – Clearing your gutters is an important part of winterization. Be sure to remove twigs, leaves, and other debris that may have collected in your gutters. When drainage systems are clogged, rainwater will pour directly onto your foundation and seep into your basement and damage your structural support. Also, make sure that your downspouts are extended at least 5 feet to ensure that water flow is directed away from your home. If you are in need of gutter repair or new gutters, Atlas Master Companies is the name to call.
Insulate Your Pipes – It is important to keep your pipes from freezing as they could burst and become a dangerous flooding hazard. You can purchase a high R-value pipe foam at your local hardware store and attach it to your pipes using duct tape.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans – This may seem like a strange winterization tip, but by reversing your ceiling blades to turn clockwise instead of counter-clockwise will generate an updraft that pushes hot air down into your living area. This works to circulate the heat into the room and can decrease your heating costs by 10%! Now that’s an innovative way to winterize your home.
Upgrade Your Insulation – Many Virginia homes are built with traditional fiberglass insulation. Unfortunately, this type of insulation works very poorly and can allow water to seep through your home. Atlas Master Companies offers Spray Foam Insulation which will keep your home safe, warm, and dry all winter long. Not only that, but it will save you a lot of money on your energy bill and increase the value of your home!
Cover Outdoor Furniture – If you have a grill and patio furniture outside, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned before you cover it. Make sure you buy a good quality cover to keep your items safe from ice and snow!
Set Your Thermostat – Schedule your thermostat to decrease in temperature while you are away at work during the day. After all, do you really need to keep the house warm when no one is in it? For every degree you lower it, it can save you 1-3% on your energy bill! You can even have it lower at night while you are asleep, but be sure to pile on the blankets! People that lower their thermostat 10 degrees during these times see a 10-15% decrease in their heating expenses.
Inspect Your Roof – When it comes to winterizing your home, it is important to keep your roof well maintained. Your roof should be inspected every two years. Make sure that it does not have any shingles that are loose, buckled, curled, or missing. Also look for moss and other growth that needs to be removed. If your roof is warped, has dark spots, or damaged flashing, it’s time to get it repaired before winter hits. Attic leaks can be detrimental to the health of your home and let a lot of cold air in during the winter.
Drain Hoses – Make sure that all of your outdoor hoses and air conditioner pipes do not have excess water collected in them since they might freeze over the winter.
Maintain Your HVAC – Another important part of winterization is maintaining your HVAC. Get a professional to check your HVAC before winter hits. Your air filters should be checked every month. If they are dirty, clean them out so that they do not restrict airflow and increase your energy bill.
Choose The Right Contractor – If you are in need of winterization services in the Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Norfolk, and Chesapeake Area, call Atlas Master Companies. We offer gutter replacement and repair, home waterproofing, free foundation inspections, spray foam insulation, and more! Let us help you prepare your home for winter and keep it safe, warm, and dry for years to come.
Through the use of pier supports, a cracked concrete floor in Virginia Beach was stabilized by the professionals at Atlas Master Companies.
Contact us to learn more about all the services we offer in the Virginia Beach area.