While the city of Chicago offers beautiful lake views, a stunning skyline, and exciting opportunities, it’s also infamous for some harsh winters. If you’re a homeowner in the Chicago area, you may be concerned about getting through the bitter cold of the upcoming months without your house sustaining any weather-related damage. Fortunately, you can get your house ready now to weather the winter months. From stocking up on equipment like a three point snow blower with a skid steer plow attachment to checking your insulation and keeping an eye on heating costs, prepping for the cold months might not be as tough as it seems. Check out these top preparation tips.
Prep Your Yard
Winter in Chicago usually means plenty of snow, so if you’re lucky enough to have a front lawn or a backyard, you’ll need to prep for the possibly damaging effects of heavy snow. Some things you can do now while the weather’s still mild include:
- Using a tree stump puller to get rid of unsightly stumps
- Trimming any overgrown branches that could fall and present a hazard
- Cutting the grass
- Weeding the garden and taking some plants indoors
You may also want to stock up on winter equipment like snow blowers for landscaping in mid-winter. Once you’ve prepared the yard for the upcoming hibernation mode, you can turn your attention to the house itself.
Check Your Insulation
One part of the cooler months that nobody enjoys dealing with is the higher energy bills due to all the heating you need to stay warm and cozy. However, you may be able to lower your heating costs simply by making sure your home is well insulated and that you’re not losing any heat through cracks you didn’t realize were there. Before the first snow hits, take some time to go through the whole house and search vulnerable areas, including windows, for signs of wear and tear. You may have to replace caulking or weather stripping to ensure the draft doesn’t get in.
Close Up Your Pool for the Season
A pool is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the summer sunshine, but when the weather turns, it’s time to shut the pool down for the season. Drain water as needed, install a pool cover, and be sure to check any faucets and the sprinkler system to ensure they don’t freeze.
Make Sure Your Fireplace Is in Good Shape
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but a fireplace can let in cold air and drive up heating bills if damaged or not properly insulated. Although a fireplace can provide a source of warmth and coziness when the weather’s chilly, it’s important to inspect it both indoors and outdoors for signs of damage. Check the chimney cap, the bricks, the flue liner, and the flue damper.
Living in Chicago has many advantages, but even locals can find it tough to handle the bitter winters sometimes. Preparing your home now, however, can help your family get through the cold months comfortably and safely. Use these tips to start prepping your home now to ensure you stay warm and dry all season long.