Winter is Coming: Prep Your Home

The Chicago area has seen mild weather for the month of October and homeowners should take advantage of the warmer weekends to start prepping their home for winter.

Why is prepping your home for winter so important? Doing seasonal and monthly maintenance can help you prepare for the cooler months and save you money in the long run. Gerstad Builders has created guidelines that are located in the Warranty Notebook given to homeowners and in this blog we are going to review some of those guidelines.


It is important to prep, clean and maintain your gutters for the winter season. Start with removing all leaves and debris that collected in your gutters over the last year. By doing this when it rains or ice melts, it will drain through the gutters and not cause any type of backup. In order to maintain the gutters consider purchasing a mesh guard at any hardware store, this will help keep the debris out, and the flow clear. Plus, keeping your gutters free from debris will keep your basement, interior of your home and the exterior free from water damage.

Outdoor faucets:

Anyone who lives in Chicago knows the area is notorious for cold, long and freezing winters. No one can get used to accumulating snow, gusty winds and wind chills below zero that are common during the winter months. However, if you own a Gerstad Builders home, you’re in luck. Winterizing your outdoor faucets is easy. Remove any hoses or fitting from the outside hose bib and it’s good to go for the winter. Removing the garden hoses is essential to keeping the water properly draining from the faucet. This prevents any remaining water in the faucet from freezing and causes internal damage to the faucet.


Winter can increase heating bills dramatically, make sure to check your windows for any air drafts to reduce extra spending on heating. There is a way to check if there is any type of draft. For example; hold a lighter or candle near the window frame and observe if the flame moves with the breeze. If there are any cracks or gaps when air is flowing, just recaulk that area.

Furthermore, attending to this and sealing the windows will reduce heating bills, save energy and help your home stay warm.


Twice a year, you should have your furnace professionally inspected. Since late fall is one of the busiest seasons, make an appointment a few months prior to ensure that you get on the schedule. One important form of maintenance to keep your furnace running smoothly is changing the filters. Plus, this is something you can do yourself. The lifespan of filters vary, so check out the directions of the ones you purchase to see how often to change them.

Most homeowners do not know that a dirty filter can actually reduce efficiency as much as 50% which creates higher heating bills. Mark your calendar the days to make the change so you don’t forget and maintain consistency. One last to do item; vacuum your vent registers to remove dust and lint that would impede airflow.

Smoke detectors and CO:

One of the most important home maintenance projects that needs to be done annually is replacing the batteries in your CO and smoke detectors. While the units are “unhooked” from their ceiling mounts, take a soft brush and clean off any accumulated dust that has formed. If you have a hard time remembering when to change the batteries, when you change the clocks for daylight savings, change the batteries.

These are just a few items to check off your checklist as you prep for the winter season. Once you have completed your list, take time to 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 Community, visit our website or contact us at (815) 385-4495.

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