Tips for Getting Your Gerstad Home Ready for Winter

Biltmore with snowThe temperatures are dropping and bringing that gorgeous fall weather to the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin area, but not long from now, winter will arrive and bring its extreme conditions with it. Those conditions can affect your home and its quality, so if you want to keep your home in top shape this winter, here are a few tips.

  1. Make sure your furnace filter is clean. If you don’t want to spend twice as much keeping your home warm this winter, clean that filter, which can reduce efficiency by 50 percent when dirty.
  1. Keep away from salts or deicing agents on your concrete surfaces. These can cause them to deteriorate. Avoid a huge, expensive renovation project by using sand instead.
  1. Don’t let frozen water damage your outside faucets by keeping it from draining properly. Disconnect your hose from the outside faucets to avoid this.
  1. Check the batteries on your smoke detector and thermostat carbon monoxide detector. Safety first!
  1. If you don’t want your home to be soggy, moldy and in need of major repairs, make sure you control the humidity levels in your home. This can be done by running a dehumidifier, checking and repairing the caulking of windows, siding, cornice and exterior doors, sealing air duct leaks and covering dirt floors in crawl spaces with plastic vapor barriers. Additionally, check the weather stripping of exterior doors for further temperature control.
  1. Check on the exterior paint job of the siding, cornice and doors. Doing this now can save your walls from letting moisture inside and your wallet from having to undergo an expensive repair later.
  1. Clean the gutters. Keep mold and decay away from your home by making sure the gutters are clear of fall leaves, dirt and debris.
  1. Fix your roof if necessary. If you notice any torn, loose, warped or missing shingles or unsealed vents or stacks, spend the money on the small repairs now before the entire roof needs repairing or the winter lets all the cold air in and drives your heating costs up.
  1. Don’t forget landscaping or your outdoor living areas, even though you won’t spend much time there. Keep your deck in shape by sealing with preservative if necessary. Fill in areas surrounding your foundation that have settled with dirt to keep water flowing away from your home. Lay a moderate layer of mulch around your trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants to keep them from dying. Finally, apply fertilizer to your lawn in late October or early November to encourage root growth.

Thanks to the location of each Gerstad community at The Trails of Pheasant Ridge, The Trails of Dawson Creek, Bailey Estates and Liberty Trails, residents truly get to live through each of the four gorgeous seasons. This winter, enjoy snow days with the full assurance that your Gerstad home is ready for winter.

For more tips on keeping your home winter-ready, check out our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Keep up with community and surrounding area news at

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