Wednesday, September 28, 2011

7 Tips to Get Your North Shore Home Ready for the Changing Seasons!

Fall is a beautiful time of year on Chicago’s North Shore. The leaves are changing to vivid colors or reds and golds, the air is crisp and the sky is a bright blue. It’s an ideal backdrop for getting out and enjoying the weather before the onset of Chicago’s winter which is just a few months away.

And, while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun fall activities taking place around Chicago’s North Shore, it’s important to give special attention to your North Shore home.

As a North Shore Real Estate agent, I want to provide the best services for those looking to buy a home in Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Northbrook or Deefield, yet I also want to ensure that your North Shore home is a place that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Taking care of your North Shore home is key to giving your home the longevity you want from your home. Below are seven great tips you can use to ensure your home is fully prepared for the upcoming changes in weather.

1. Insulation speculation- This is a good time to check the condition of insulation and see if you need more, especially if you live in an older North Shore home. you can purchase un-backed or loose-fill insulation if you are just beefing up what is already there. If your walls lack insulation, consider having a professional install blown-in insulation foam. The energy savings will probably offset the cost of the procedure in a couple of years.

2. Check storm windows- If you have storm windows that are cracked or dirty, repair and clean them now; prior to autumn installation.

3. Add weatherstripping to doors and windows- Weatherstripping can be plastic, foam, felt or metal; its job is to seal small gaps, keeping moisture and cold air outside where they belong. Newer, energy-efficient windows generally don't require added weatherstripping, but if your windows are older, weatherstripping can keep drafts at bay and energy costs down.

4. Inspect your roof and chimney- If your roof isn't too steep, and isn't covered with slate or tile, you may be able to carefully walk on it on a dry day. Look for broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged flashing and seals around vent pipes and chimneys, and damage to boards along the eaves. Also peer down your chimney with a flashlight to make sure no animals have set up house in it. If you can't get on your roof, perform this inspection with a ladder around the perimeter. Some patches and roofing cement now can prevent thousands of dollars of water damage later in the winter.

5. Check gutters- Do a quick visual check to make sure gutters are clear; they'll be performing double duty soon with rainstorms and falling leaves.

6. Keep mice out- The fall inspires nesting in mice as well as humans. Mice are looking for a winter home now, and that newly insulated attic would be just the spot. Mice can squeeze through 1/4-inch openings. Make sure all exterior vents are screened, and that there are no gaps underneath garage doors.

7. Caulk exterior- Think of caulk as weatherstripping in a tube. Any gap on the outside of your home can be a candidate for caulking. Look at transition spots: corners, windows, doors, areas where masonry joins siding, or places where vents and other objects protrude from walls. Carefully read manufacturer's directions to make sure the caulk you buy will work where you plan to use it, and don't forget to purchase a caulking gun. Early fall is a good time for this task because caulk becomes difficult to apply when the temperature falls.

I hope these tips are helpful as you begin to prepare for the late fall and winter season on the North Shore! Knowing your home is prepped for the seasonal changes will help you be able to sit back and enjoy the upcoming holiday season in your North shore home.

If you’ve been interested in buying a North Shore home this fall; I would enjoy the opportunity to talk with you! Not only is now a great time to buy a home, there are also many beautiful North Shore homes currently on the North Shore Real Estate market.

Please feel free to contact me today to get started!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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