Preparing Your Gerstad Home for Fall

Preparing Your Gerstad Home for FallAs temperatures start to drop and the seasons change, it is important to make sure your Gerstad Builders home gets some extra attention. Doing a monthly and seasonal maintenance will help you prepare your home for the cooler months and can save you money in the future.

Here are some maintenance items to help you prepare for fall:

Furnace: Every year you should have your furnace professionally inspected. Late fall is the busiest season for furnace inspections, so be sure make an appointment ahead of time to ensure that you and your home are covered. One large part of keeping your furnace running smoothly is to change the filter, and this is something that you can do yourself! The lifespan of filters vary, as there are some that need to be changed monthly. One last maintenance item you can do yourself is to make sure to vacuum your vent registers to remove lint and dust that would otherwise impede airflow.

Outdoor Faucets: Chicagoland is notorious for its long, cold, and freezing winters. Wind chills below zero, accumulating snow, and gusty winds are common during the winter months. If you own a Gerstad Builders home than you’re in luck. Winterizing this item is easy. Simply remove any hoses or fitting from the outside hose bib and you’re good to go.

CO and Smoke Detectors: One of the most important pieces of annual home maintenance you can do is replacing the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors. While you have the units “unhooked” from their ceiling mounts, it is a great idea to take a soft brush and clean off any dust that has accumulated on the units over time. The next step is to test each unit out by pressing the test button, and waiting for the confirmation noise. Having a smoke detector on every floor in your house – including the basement – is an important safety feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. A way to remember to change the batteries is doing it when you change the clocks for daylight savings time!

 Gutters: To keep the interior of your home, your basement, and the exterior from experiencing water damage, it is essential to clean out and maintain your gutters. Get up on a ladder or onto the roof to remove all debris and leaves that have collected in your gutters over the last year. In order to keep the water flowing smoothly through your gutter system during the winter season, consider purchasing a mesh guard at any hardware store, and this will help to keep the debris out, and the flow clear.

Windows: The winter time can increase your heating bill dramatically, make sure to check your windows for any air drafts to help reduce extra spend on heating. There is a simple way to do this; hold a candle or lighter near the window frame and observe if the flame moves with the breeze. If there are any cracks or gaps where air is flowing, it is easy to just recaulk that area.  Attending to, and sealing your windows will help your home stay warm, reduce heating bills, and save energy.

Fireplace and chimney: Now is the perfect time to inspect the flue and clean out your fireplace. Also stock up on firewood!

 Clean gardening tools and outdoor furniture: You might not be putting them away but cleaning them now will ensure they are ready for storage during winter.

Plant bulbs:  October is the perfect time to plant new bulbs! Pick a place in your yard that gets full sun during the day to plant them, and by the spring time you should be able to enjoy the beautiful sight that tulips can bring to any lawn area.

Create a mock mudroom: If you don’t have a dedicated area in your home to shake off all of that snow and mud and yuck, then now is the perfect time to organize an area in the entryway for the upcoming winter season. The process can be as simple as purchasing an indoor-outdoor rug to help protect your flooring from the elements that will be walked in.

These are just a few items to check off your checklist as you get ready for the change in seasons. Once you are done, you can enjoy your warm and comfortable Gerstad home.

At Gerstad we offer many home options in McHenry County, Poplar Grove, Richmond IL and Williams Bay WI. For more information on a Gerstad Builders community, visit our website or stop in at our Central Sales Office.