If you are from the Chicago land area or have visited us in the winter then you know it can get very cold and snowy and sometimes both at the same time.  Yesterday,  I was inspecting a home in Chicago, Illinois and it was early in the morning when I started. I got the full blast of 40 degrees at 7am!  This led to the honey do list that I went over with my client from the Chicago home inspection.

Most of the items I have for this list are for the exterior of your home.  You don’t want to get stuck trying to do these items in a 20 degrees below zero afternoon if you do not  have to.  Ill start with the exterior items that will be addressed  and then Ill get into the interior projects.

  1. Gutter cleaning – Gutter cleaning can cause water issues into soffits if the gutters are full of debris and this debris clogs the drain.  Also ice damning can occur if there is debris that is in the gutter that will not allow the drainage to go down the downspout which in turn causes ice.  The gutter fills with ice then the shingles start to take water from underneath.  Hopefully your home has an ice shield.
  2. Sprinkler system – If your home has a lawn sprinkler system you will need to get your service provider to come by and remove your backflow preventer and blow out the lines.
  3. Storm windows – If you live in an old home that has storm windows that need to be installed annually then this is the time to remove the screens and install your storm windows.
  4. Crawl space vents -  If you have a crawl space that has plumbing piping that does not have heat tape on it then you will need to close the vents on the crawl to prevent extreme cold air from entering this space and possibly breaking your water piping.
  5. Hose bib and hoses – If your hose bib has a shut off in the home then this is the time to shut it off and leave the hose bib open to release any access water so it does not freeze.  Clear all the water from the hoses and roll them up for the next season.
  6. Balconies – If you live in a condo or own a home with a balcony you want to make sure the drainage points are clear to prevent issues on the balcony.
  7. Furnace/ boiler cleaning – This is a great time to bring in a hvac professional to inspect and clean your furnace or boiler.  When a contractor has to come to your home at 3am you wont be paying $100.00 for that service call!
  8. Smoke detector – Replace batteries as the season changes.
  9. Furnace filters – Change filters in furnaces at the change of seasons.
  10. Exterior projects – These projects should be buttoned up for the winter if at all possible.

As you can see there are quite a few things that will need to be done prior to closing the house up for the winter.  My clients from the Chicago home inspection were amazed that there could be so many items to be addressed  to prepare your home for a cold winter.  If you find that your home has repairs that will need to be done prior to winter this is a list that will help you with what these repairs may cost – http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/repair-replacement-costs.html.  My clients from the Chicago home inspection found this very useful for the repairs that were needed in their home.

Hopefully this  “honey do list” is helpful to you and your families on preparing your home for a long Chicago winter.  If you have questions about this topic please contact me at – http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

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