: Home Improvement and Renovations
: Taking Care of the Basement Before Winter
Taking Care of the Basement Before Winter
Written by; Carter Harris / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Mon Mar 01 2010
The basement is an area of the house which is, in most circumstances, poorly maintained. It is seldom cleaned and is used as a storage area in most homes. Piping systems, air ducts, and water heaters would be installed there in order not to clutter the other areas of the home. For these reasons, the basement is a sensitive area during winter.
Poor insulation of the basement may lead to drops in temperature which may be downright critical for all your installed equipment. Exposed water pipes may freeze and the ice may cause them to rupture. A drop in temperature will also cause increase in your heating bill as the air circulating through the basement would lose their heat before being channeled to the rest of the home through the air ducts.
Together with the rest of the house, the basement walls should also be insulated. Sealing all windows and doors ensures that the cold stays out and the heat stays in. Doors that lead to the outside should have rubber stripping and a layer of insulation to prevent heat loss. Keeping windows airtight means no cold drafts.
Protecting exposed water pipes and air ducts
Since the basement is not a living area, it is typically not actively heated. It would in fact be wasteful to heat the basement.
However, temperature drops could seriously damage any water pipes in the basement and may lead to heat loss in the rest of the house through the air ducts. Hence, protecting these with appropriate insulation is important. Rubber sleeves and insulation sheets are commercially available and are very easily put in place.
Insulating the Water Heater
Most modern water heaters are equipped with heat traps. However, if it is not, then adequate protection must be provided. The copper pipes of water heaters freeze easily and should be insulated as well.
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