Getting Ready For Winter: Necessary Home Checks

Kurt Clements Real Estate Leave a Comment

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As a Chicago Real Estate agent, I know that winter comes before we recognize it.  When the leaves start falling, winter can’t be far behind. In order to make sure your home will offer you cozy shelter from the coming cold, there are a few simple checks that you should not delay.

It’s wise to perform simple pre-checks of major home operating systems, listen up all of my south side Chicago buyers; schedule required maintenance or call for service if you suspect a problem. Be diligent about routine upkeep; replace filters regularly. Check for faucet drips, and make note of unusual appliance or plumbing fixture noises.

Here are five areas you should not ignore:

The Roof 

A tight roof is vital all year long, but especially in the winter. Take a walk around your home’s exterior and look up. Curling or missing shingles, damaged vents and ridge cap, sagging gutters or loose flashing are all signs that you should call a professional for thorough diagnosis.  Just because your home was inspected when you purchased, doesn’t mean that the snow and rain in Chicago gave your roof a beating this year.

Visit your attic to check for drafts and daylight. Also check for small holes and signs of insect or rodent infestation. Critters seek winter shelter, but you don’t want to leave an open invitation.

If you have turbine vents on the roof, you may want to cover them before winter arrives, and fall is the perfect time to do that.

HVAC

As the seasons change and you move from air conditioning to heat, you’ll want to check both for proper operation. With a single integrated system, it’s easy and there’s no need to shut one down to start the other. But if you call a professional to winterize an outside compressor, you might also have thermostat settings checked and recalibrated if necessary.

Want to know what to do when you are ready to close on your new home?  Check this article out!

If you have a separate oil-burning or propane furnace, confirm your fuel is adequate before turning on the heat.

Fireplace

Whether a fireplace is wood-burning or gas-fired, it’s smart to have a professional check the flue and assure that the damper is operating properly. Make certain the gas line is free from obstructions, and that anyone who lights a fire is aware of safety precautions. House fires and deadly fumes are entirely preventable; a seasonal checkup can save lives.  A lot of Chicago bungalows in the south side are not functional, but it is still good to check to see if any maintenance is required.

Doors and Windows

Checking the weatherstripping and seals is an easy task, even though it takes some time. Look for cracked or brittle rubber weatherstripping and light leaks, as well as drafts around the perimeters. Also check for signs of moisture on sills and trim.

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Door sweeps should graze the floor so that dust and small insects don’t cross the threshold. Adjust and caulk the threshold if necessary. This is also a good time to check locks on both doors and windows.

Outside Hose Bibbs

Outdoor hose bibbs can be problematic in freezing temperatures. Always disconnect hoses for the winter. If you notice any leaks around a hose bibb, call a professional. During severe weather, it can be helpful to wrap those outdoor hose bibbs with foam insulation and a plastic sleeve in an effort to discourage freezing.

A little preventive maintenance pays big dividends when spring finally arrives!

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If you are planning to wait until spring to put your home on the market, contact your trusted real estate agent to find out what other steps you could take now to improve your home’s appeal to potential buyers.

Hey, do you want more information?  Email me and I’d love to talk to you and give you details about what it takes to become and stay a homeowner, [email protected]

About the Author
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Kurt Clements

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Kurt has developed a unique system designed to turn renters into homeowners. Unlike most Realtors his initial focus is on the financial end of the transaction. This dynamic has allowed him to develop more buyers that were not previously in the market, which in turn leads to more listings being sold. While Kurt is constantly tweaking his programs to meet the needs of his clients, he is ever mindful that a home is not sold without a buyer. More times than not, a buyer that he turned into a homeowner.