With Halloween this weekend, the fall holidays have officially arrived, followed quickly by the winter holidays! Time flies this time of year, and as a North Shore homeowner, it’s important to take some time to winterize your home before you get swept up in holiday hoopla. As your North Shore real estate agent, I’ve put together a list of tasks you can do to help prepare your home for the winter months.
1. Check your gutters, clean them out if necessary. If your gutters are full of leaves and debris, you’ll want to clean them out to prevent ice dams. You could install gutter guards to help with this.
2. Insulate your attic. Most heat loss typically occurs through openings in the attic, so add some insulation up there if need be, or around the entrance to the attic if it’s inside your home.
3. Protect your pipes. You can buy insulation to wrap around pipes during the winter. During severe temperature drops, allow your faucets and showers to drip to guard against freezing or bursting pipes.
4. Seal cracks. Seal up anywhere that allows cold air to seep into your home. This could mean caulking around holes or installing weather stripping around windows and doors. It’ll save on your energy bill!
5. Prevent slips. Before your driveway or walkways become icy, have some salt or sand on hand to throw down. Fix any steps or handrails now, so they’re ready for winter. Have your shovels/snow blowers on hand, and check your snow blower to make sure it’s working.
6. Prepare your heat. Have your furnaces, boilers, chimneys, etc. serviced to clear away any buildup and debris, to replace filters, and to make sure they’re running their best. Consider a programmable thermostat to help save you money.
7. Test your detectors. Fires are more common in the winter months, so now is the time to check all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector, and to replace batteries if need be.
8. Check your landscaping. Ice, snow and winter winds can weaken tree branches, so check to see if there are any any dead branches you can trim and remove now. Remove, drain and store away hoses and gardening tools.
9. Store away outdoor items. If possible, store grills, outdoor furniture, etc. in a garage, basement or shed. If not possible, just store furniture cushions inside. If your grill has a propane tank, close the tank valve and disconnect the tank. Purchase covers for your grill, furniture, etc. if leaving outside.
10. Plan ahead if leaving. If you head off to a second home for the winter, turn off your water completely and consider having the plumbing system drained. Give a key to a neighbor or friend if need be.
This is a great list to get you started! If you’d like to achieve your North Shore real estate goals in Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Riverwoods, Bannockburn, or other North Shore communities, give me a call! As your North Shore real estate agent, I am here to help!