Whether you recently received pre-approval as a first-time homebuyer, or are simply relocating to the Chicago area from a warmer climate, there are several things you should know about weather-proofing your home. Chicago winters can be brutal, but also incredibly easy to navigate with the right precautions in place. Consider this blog your go-to guide for staying one step ahead of the weather.
For your safety, it is recommended that you prepare for a winter storm by stocking up on essential items long before the storm hits. If you wait too long, you may have trouble locating certain necessities or find yourself unable to find reliable transportation.
Essentials include rock salt and snow shovels for slippery sidewalks, as well as non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, battery-operated radios, water jugs, and thick blankets in case of a power outage. It also doesn’t hurt to have a small generator on standby for charging cell phone batteries and other electrical equipment that might come in handy.
Prevent cold air from seeping in through doors and windows by weather-stripping them ahead of time. There are many different types of weatherstrips available, each offering various advantages depending on your specific needs. Some of the most popular options include felt, V-strips, and tubular rubber. Foam tape is also a great option for weather-stripping irregular cracks.
It is best to allow faucets to drip lukewarm water occasionally to avoid encountering problems with pipes. For interior faucets located near exterior walls, open the cabinets to allow the home’s warm air to circulate around the pipes. You may also want to consider insulating them with newspaper.
For exterior faucets, remove garden hoses and install covers over the nozzles. Failure to do so could result in loss of water or costly water damage extending from a burst pipe. In the case of a bursting pipe or pipes, locate the home’s main water valve should the need for emergency water shutoff arise.
Devise an emergency meetup plan when family members are apart. Some things you will want to discuss ahead of time include important phone numbers for getting in contact, a time and place for meeting if phones are not a viable option, and how best to handle an emergency situation, such as making first aid kits available in your vehicles.
If winter weather reports predict an upcoming storm, it is a good idea to carry along a backpack with emergency supplies in addition to first aid. It is also a good idea to have family members contact one another with a description of their general whereabouts when a snowstorm hits, in the off-chance someone is stranded.
Hiring a contractor to inspect the soundness of the home’s structure, especially the roof, can help to prevent potential damage from heavy snow or melting ice off tree branches. Be sure to take a look at exterior gutters and drains to avoid water clogs after the snow melts, too. With just a little foresight and planning, you can protect your home and family from any obstacles a snowstorm might throw your way!
A and M Mortgage makes it easy to apply for a home loan in Chicago. For more information, call (773) 305-LOAN today.