As I am writing this article, leaves are planning to fall. Summer is not over yet, and fall has not arrived yet. However, the current news and weather conditions indicate that the pre-winter season will be here at any moment. We should better start our preparations because soon we will be surrounded by winter snow and freezing temperature. Fortunately, a little preparation can save you from harsh weather conditions.
Here is the list of top 7 projects to prepare your house for the fall season and ultimately the cold weather.
On an average, Chicago gets 37 inches of snow per year. You can imagine what’ll happen when this snow melts over the roof. Continuous rain and snowfall can damage the roof interior. The annual roof inspection is a necessary home maintenance task and fall is the best season to undertake this project.
Water leakage is the most common issue caused by curling shingles and damaged granules. Most roof problems are easy to fix if your roof is less than 25 years old.
Action Item: Call a roofing contractor to inspect your roof. Most of them will do it free-of-charge, or a minimum hourly wage is charged.
Melting snow and continuous rainfalls make it difficult to drain the water out of your house. Your first task is to clean all the gutters and make sure they remain clear of leaves and dirt particles. Use a high-pressure hose to flush water down the pipes. Once the gutters are cleaned, you can check for excessive wear & tear or any leakage issues.
Action: Call a contractor and get this job done for less than $50.
Windows drafts are an easy way to invite cold air into your house. In Chicago, you can prevent windows damage by installing storm windows or purchase heavy curtains that can keep the air outside. You may want to insulate your windows with a weather sheet or insulation film.
Action Item: Analyze your windows and take care of any cracks or drafts before the 1st week of September.
The Chicago weather can freeze metals; pipes are no exception. It is best to have freeze-proof pipes and a shut-off valve. However, if your irrigation system is not freeze-proof, you must insulate your water pipes. A Styrofoam faucet cover can do the job. Make sure to shut off the water supply and drain water in the pipes before applying the cover.
Keep the temperature no below than 55 degrees.
Action Item: Purchase “heat tape” or “foam faucet covers” and apply them to unheated water pipes.
Your heating system will be operating 24/7 this winter season. It is best to inspect the system for optimum protection and electricity savings. Your furnace requires inspection by a quality contractor. Doing this, not only extends the life of your furnace but also prevents the system from breaking during the middle of a cold rain.
Do you know that 25% heat escapes through your roof? Around 30% heat is used to cover the heat loss through walls. You can insulate your house to avoid heat loss. First, you need to check the wall damage and the heat escape paths. You can try various types of insulation blankets including fiberglass and spray foam insulation.
Action Item: Call a local contractor to discuss how much can you save by adding an extra layer of insulation to your home.
A programmable thermostat offers an inexpensive way to monitor your electricity expenditure. Furthermore, you can program the heating system to work at pre-defined times. This controlling factor secures your home with necessary warmth, and the system shuts down when the interior temperature reaches a certain level.
Action: Analyze a few programmable thermostats this month. Companies advertise that you can save 10%-30% money on electricity bills which is not true. However, most of these devices can help you control the heating & cooling system in your house.
These are a few action items to help you get started this fall season. Stay in touch to know more about Chicago real estate.