Prepare for Winter Before the Cold's Back


Prepare Your Cook County Home for Winter Before the Cold Returns

1As we head into autumn there’s plenty of things to get done around the house, especially before cold, winter weather sets in. The last thing you want is to have your home unprepared for what mother nature may throw our way. With a bit of planning and some key home maintenance tasks you can enjoy the comforts of home and weather winter storms with ease.

Have your chimney and fireplace cleaned by a professional. Soot builds up over time, which can lead to a fire hazard if not kept in check. The fall is a great time to have your chimney and fireplace or woodstove cleaned and inspected. Be sure the flu is working well and install a chimney cap if there isn’t one, this will keep critters out.

Does anyone enjoy cleaning the gutters? Probably not. But this is one chore which is critical to keep up on. When too much debris collects in your gutters you run a higher risk for water damage when rain water can’t be directed away from your home. There are now gutters designed to keep leaf litter out, an option worth considering which can save a lot of time.

Along with the chimney and gutters, your roof should be inspected for any damage. If shingles are missing, get them replaced now before the weather turns bad. A solid roof means less likelihood of water damage in your attic. If you have skylights or solar panels, these should also be given a once-over to ensure they are still in good condition.

Preparing your pipes for winter begins with the exterior of your home. Before the temperature drops too low be sure to remove hoses from faucets, turn off the water to them and cover your outdoor faucets with insulated covers. If you have exposed pipes along the outer walls of your home, wrap them in insulation tubes to help prevent the water in them from freezing.

2Take a walk around the outside of your home and check for any holes or cracks where small critters or storm water could get in. These areas should all be sealed, as should windows and doors. A fresh layer of caulking can help keep drafts at bay and keep your energy consumption down. To test for drafts slowly pass a lit candle around the frame of your windows and doors, if the flame flickers air is coming in.

Some wise words to remember: While an airtight house will help save energy, it will also keep potential hazards such as carbon monoxide, in. Be sure to have working carbon and smoke detectors installed and test them regularly, safety first!

As the season changes take some time to prepare your Cook County home for winter. Check out this Realty Times article for more information on fall maintenance tips before it gets cold. When it’s time to buy or sell your home, a local, experienced Realtor® will help make the process stress free and positive. The Driscoll Properties Team is ready to help you from beginning to end, you can rely on us. Learn more at our website,, then contact the Driscoll Properties Team at 847-533-6786 to help you discover the home of your dreams.