It seems real winter has come to the Chicago area earlier than usual this year. As you take the time to unpack your sweaters, make sure that you also help your home get ready for the harsh and brutal season. Here are a few things to add to your to-do list that will help you to winter proof for the end of 2013, and the beginning of the new year.
Outside Your Home
Trim your trees and shrubbery - Heavy ice and snow could cause branches to break. Take the time now to trim any branches that could potentially damage your home or car, or that may fall and injure someone that's walking on your property.
Store your patio furniture - Odds are you won't need your patio furniture again until the spring, so it's time to let it hibernate. Make sure that it is clean (and completely dry) before you store or cover it.
Clean your gutters - Melting snow needs to be able to flow freely through your home's gutters, so now is the time to clear out any leaves, sticks, and debris. you can also speed up next year's clean up by installing gutter guards.
Repair your entryway - With snow and ice abound, anyone that visits your home will need to be careful making their way to the front door. Help them out by making sure that your entryway is in tip-top shape. Railings should be sturdy, and cracks in the sidewalk should be mended.
Inside Your Home
Insulate and seal - Don't waste money heating your home if the air is just going to blow right out a drafty window. The DIY Network has some great tips on how to check your windows for drafts, and how to repair windows that aren't airtight.
Check your pipes - Cracked or leaking pipes could end up causing you a huge headache if left untreated. Before it gets too cold, do a thorough inspection of all your pipes, and have any problems fixed as soon as possible.
Remind yourself of how to shut off the water - Do a practice run of how to shut off the water. Teach family members how and when to do it too, just in case you're not home when a calamity occurs.
Have a professional look for structural damage - You wouldn't want an issue to got undiscovered through the winter. Don't put off a home inspection until spring, so hire a professional and get any problems that they find taken care of right away.
Check on your home insurance policy - If your home does encounter a problem this winter, you need to make sure that you'll be covered. A quick call to Frimark/Keller & Associates at 847-907-4520 will get you in touch with one of our agents. They will be able to review your home insurance policy, and check to make sure that you're protected against the most common winter insurance claims, like damage due to frozen pipes, and slips and falls on ice patches.