Fall Exterior and Foundation Tips

Written by David Edens
Updated September 30, 2016
Taking care of some simple fall chores will help maintain your foundation and home exterior. (Photo by Frank Espich)

Fall is a great time to enjoy working around the house.

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It’s also a great time to check your home’s foundation and exterior. You need to pay attention to signs of foundation movement on the exterior of your home. 

Check around windows first

The first place to look for signs of movement is around the windows. A gap around the windows where the caulking doesn’t span the opening is a common indicator of movement.

Also, if you have a brick or rock exterior, look for cracks above or below the windows in the masonry joints.  Look around all corners for cracks and the top of the corners pushing out the freeze boards from plumb. Cracks usually develop six to 10 feet from the corner and start at the bottom and get wider at the top.

Doors are another commonplace to look for movement. Gaps in caulking and open mortar joints indicate movement. 

Take a look at your crawlspace

If you are on a crawlspace, fall is the appropriate time to close up your crawl space vents. You should check in the crawl space to make sure the moisture vapor barrier is still in place and in good condition. If you have an electronic ventilation system, you could wait until colder weather reaches your area to shut the vents. 

Make sure your gutters are in good condition

Cleaning and maintenance of your guttering and drainage system are also needed.  Make sure all gutters are clean from debris and trash. In areas with a lot of trees, install a leaf guard to minimize the problem. Flush all gutters and check all discharge points. 

Maintain your sump pump

If you have a drainage system with a sump pump, make sure the pump is in good working order. If your drainage system has a free flow, make sure the flow line is open and free of all debris. 

Taking care of these basic fall chores will help ensure your foundation is in good shape for the winter. 

As of September 30, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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