Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prepare Your North Shore Home for Fall with These 7 Tips!

Although it feels like summer is still hanging on here on Chicago’s North Shore, the beautiful, crisp fall season will be here before we know it!  Autumn is always a picturesque time of year on the North Shore, and for those of you spending your first fall season here; you’re sure to enjoy the vivid colors of the trees and the bright blue skies.

As one who’s lived and worked as a real estate agent on the North Shore for a number of years, I know it’s a favorite season for many.  And, while my goal as a North Shore Real Estate agent is to help buyers and sellers navigate the real estate market, I also want to ensure that, as a resident of Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glencoe or Winnetka, you can thoroughly enjoy your current North Shore home this fall.

Having your home prepped for the coming cold weather season now can help you rest at ease and enjoy the festivities of fall.  Below are seven tips for getting your North Shore home ready for the changing season! 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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

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. 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.

7. 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.

Hopefully these tips will help you prepare your North Shore home for fall so you can sit back and enjoy all that the season has to offer!

If you don’t currently live on the North Shore, but have been considering moving to the area; please let me know!  I would be happy to talk with you about your needs, wants and budget for your new home!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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