Living in the Midwest, you may want to enlist the help of a handyman or give your spouse his or her “honey-do list” so your home survives the brutal winters. One Kiplinger article on winter home maintenance tips suggest keeping a checklist of tasks and chores that will lower your utility bill and protect your investment. People living in an area that gets the lake-effect snow are particularly vulnerable to inclement weather. Instead of waiting until a major blizzard, it pays to be proactive with household maintenance in Lake County, Illinois and the surrounding areas.
√ Inspect the heater
Kiplinger advises people who live in cold-weather states to pay an HVAC technician to inspect your heating system in the winter. The cost may range from $50 to $100, depending if you sign up for a service contract. The technician should be looking for carbon-monoxide leakage as well as making sure your unit is working satisfactorily.
√ Check your roof and chimney
If you have a chimney, you may want to have your chimney and gutters cleaned in the winter. Without getting up on your roof, you can use a pair of binoculars to do a visual inspection. A handyman will be able to repair shingles that became loose or damaged due to the heavy snowfall. If there has already been a massive snowfall, you will want to pay to have snow removed from your roof to prevent further damage. Hiring a chimney sweep can prevent carbon monoxide from seeping into the home
√ Caulk around doors and windows
While some people find it difficult to caulk, you can buy products that make it easier to apply caulk in the gaps around windows and doors as well as in the shower. Handymen will often agree to caulk your entire home for a special price. One trick people use is to light a candle and move it near a window or door frame to see if it flickers due to air leaks.
√ Wait to prune
Experts say it’s best to wait until the end of winter to prune trees and bushes. Pruning just before the spring growth begins is ideal for the plant’s health. However, you will have to remove tree limbs, branches and plants that obstruct the view from your driveway, are too close to your home, mailbox or power lines.
Other winter home maintenance tips include stocking up or investing in snow shovels, salt and snow blower. Experts say it’s important to drain your lawn irrigation system and properly store your lawn mower during the winter. For people who have more money to invest, consider hiring a weatherization contractor to improve the insulation in your home. Energy-efficient windows and doors and added insulation can lower your utility bill as well as make it cozier in the winter so you can just enjoy watching the snow fall outside your windows.
Sheryl Allen provides one-stop real estate services in all of Lake County, Illinois and surrounding areas. For more winter home maintenance tips or help with buying or selling a home in Gurnee, Vernon Hills, Lindenhurst, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Mundelein, Grayslake or Long Grove, please contact us.