Doing annual fall maintenance on your house keeps your property in tip-top shape, and ensures you stay comfortable and warm during our long, cold Chicago winters. Winterizing your home should be on your to-do list every fall season – but it’s particularly important to do these tasks if you’re going to put your home on the market in the next few months.
Your home will be scrutinized from top to bottom during the selling process as potential buyers decide whether to buy, and any winterizing-related issues are going to come up during a home inspection.
The Klopas-Stratton team has prepared a winterizing checklist you can use to get your home ready for the cold season (whether or not you’re getting ready to sell your home this year).
Here’s a list of the top 12 things you should do this fall:
1. Remove debris and leaves from your gutters and downspouts.
2. Disconnect your garden hoses, clear the water from your sprinklers, and shut down your sprinkler system.
3. Hire a roofing contractor to inspect your roof and look for damaged shingles or gutters. Cut back on overhanging branches that could cause roof damage during heavy snow.
4. Check the attic and ceilings for water leakage stains. Make sure your attic is properly ventilated to prevent mold or mildew buildup.
5. Prepare your furnace for the cold weather months by cleaning or replacing the filter, making sure the vents are clear, and checking the exhaust flue. Test the furnace before the first cold snap, to make sure it’s in good working condition. Hire a heating/cooling expert to look at your furnace to help with your annual inspection and make sure it’s working at maximum efficiency.
6. Close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather.
7. If you own a brick home, see if you need tuckpointing. Check your mortar to see if it’s still in good shape. If you’re seeing maintenance issues and thinning, remove the loose mortar, fill the joints with new mortar, and apply putty (or hire an expert to do tuckpointing
8. Dig out winter tools like snow shovels, so you don’t have to hunt for them when bad weather hits.
9. Check for (and caulk) any cracks that may have appeared around the outsides or insides of your windows and doors. To block cold air from coming through window cracks, swap out your lightweight summer curtains for heavier, thermal-lined drapes.
10. Schedule an annual inspection and cleaning of your chimney before you light the first fire of the season, to clean out soot and other debris build-up.
11. Store your outdoor furniture and find an indoor spot to stash your grill and propane tank.
12. Get ready for potential rain or snow in your basement by checking your sump pump and your backup pump battery.
Getting ready to sell your home fall or winter? The Klopas-Stratton team can act as your trusted consultants and experienced guides during the entire selling process, no matter the weather.
Contact a team member today to discuss how we can help you get full value for your home when you’re ready to sell.