Brr... you can start feeling the nip in the air. Fall officially starts on the 22nd. It is time to start getting your home ready for the rough Chicago winter. If you didn't catch our blog post last week it was about getting your garden and yard ready for all of that snow ❄️. You can read more about that here. No one enjoys the obligatory maintenance of a house once it starts to get cold. It is best to start early.  Filling crack in walkways, resealing doorways and windows, giving your heating system a check up are just a few of the things you can do to keep your home cozy all winter long.

Illuminate Your Walkways

Sophisticated Surrounding SURROUNDS Landscape Architecture + Construction

If your home doesn't already have a direct route to the morning paper do yourself and your slippers a favor and lay down a brick pathway. This quick weekend project is definitely worth your time. ProTip: look for clay pavers that are suitable for severe weather. Not only will they resist cracks but constant foot traffic as well.

Warming Up Your Heater

I don't know about you but Chicago weather can turn on you in a matter of hours. To avoid shocking your heating system it is best to let it get acclimated to being used again. To help it out a lil bit reversing your ceiling fans would be a good place to start. Reversing the fan will push hot air down instead of pulling it up. For about $100 you can have someone come in and check that your heater is in tip top shape before you actually need it. You'll thank me when you're nice a toasty and your neighbors are stuck wearing their Ugg boots indoors waiting for the repairman. This is a good time to get your tanks refilled so you aren't put on a waiting list come first snow ⛄️.

Time To Look Up

Your roof is the soft spoken workhorse of your home. You never hear from it until there is a BIG problem! You want to keep an eye out for loose and or missing shingles. It is safer to make these repairs when it isn't frigid and icy out. You will also want to checkout the flashing seals around all vents and chimneys for leaks. While you are up there it would be a time to check and clean your gutters. Organic matter build-up can lead to ice dams and leaks. For extra credit you can elongate your downspouts to divert water further from your house. With the colder weather the water is more likely to freeze causing cracks in your foundation. Checking the attic insulation and ventilation is another way to avoid ice dams.

Ugh... Yard Work

You'll like this one, instead of spending your afternoon raking leaves before you mow your lawn you can just leave them and go over them with the lawn mower. The leaves are good fertilizer and layer of protection will keep the ground moist ("shutter"...eww moist).  This is the most efficient to do if the leaves are dry so that the blades of the mower chops them instead of pureeing them. When it gets closer to November you will want to start brushing up on how to store your lawn mower for winter. You can either run it until the gas tank is dry or you can add stabilizer to the fuel and top it off with more stabilized fuel. Consult your care manual to be sure.