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Things Your Home Inspector Wants You To Know

by The Rullo Team

It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling, the home inspection process is kind of scary. For sellers, it’s blunt reminder of the issues you’ve been avoiding.  and for buyers, it often spells heartbreak.  You fall in love with a home, only to find a lemon basket of problems.

So, yes, home inspections come with a little anxiety, on both side, but don’t let it stress you out.  Remember, your inspector is not there to stress you out.  They simply want to create a comprehensive to do list, and really, a happy client.  

So, don’t fear the home inspector.  Make the inspector part of your team and your process will be much easier and much for effective.  Knowledge is key here, for both buyers and sellers.    

Here are some things your inspector wants you to know:

For sellers

1. Move your pets

We know your new puppy is a cutie pie, but even if your inspector is an animal lover, having pets running around while the inspection is going on makes the job more difficult.  So, for your inspectors sake, get the dog out of the house.  You’re inspector will appreciate this. 

Inspections often require opening exterior doors again and again and again, making it super easy for your little guy to jail break to freedom.  Which will only stress you out more, right?   So, remember to take your pet with you when you leave your home for inspection.


2. Don’t forget to clean

Whether you plan on being there for the inspection or not, You really should clean up a bit.  I mean you don’t need to scrub like your mother in law is coming over, but get rid of the clutter. It really does make a huge difference to your inspector and obviously the homebuyer.  So, make a good impression. 

The inspection is often the first time the buyers are kind of alone in the house for an extended period of time.  A messy home can spoil the experience.  


For buyers

1. Your potential home will have problems

Your home inspector will likely come up with a long, seemingly endless list of problems. Expect this!  Relax. Remember, your inspector is on your side.  Every single home, everywhere, has problems, even the home inspectors.  They are there to give you the full picture!  

Sure, there are times to worry, but not every single issue is super critical.  Your inspector will let you know what issues to deal with first.  Breathe.  

2. Anything can be fixed…well, almost anything.

We all know the Evil Three of home inspections; MoldRadonAsbestos, and yes these things can be frightening… but, no more frightening than a roof that needs to be replaced.   There have been a lot of articles about these three and really, all they do is scare people.  Here’s the truth:

Don’t worry too much about Mold and Radon.  Seriously, everything is UpgradeableFixable, orReplaceable, you just need to know exactly what those things are. 


3. One thing you should worry about is water

Here’s one problem you should stress about.  While not necessarily a deal breaker (remember almost anything can be fixed) it’s best to address any water-related issues before the deal closes.

Make special note of puddles and leaky ceilings, giving special attention to the basement.  Water issues in the basement can be an expensive and difficult fix. 



4. Home inspectors can’t predict the future

Often, buyers ask questions like, “how many more years will this roof last?” And your inspector may be able to give you a good estimate, but they cannot give you a precise timeline. There are no crystal balls in an inspectors tool kit.  They can simply tell you what they see.  



5. Don’t buy with your heart.  Don’t buy with your brain either.  Find a healthy balance.  

Don’t let the potential for repairs stop you from buying that dream home.  It’s easy to forget how much you love a home as you imagine the cost of said repairs…just take a deep breath.  Think for a moment.  Could this be a good investment in your future? This is not an easy process, but if you approach it level headed, realistic and optimistic, you’ll come to the right conclusion.  


Your inspector’s visit will simply provide a to-do list, but not everything needs fixing immediately, unless the roof is caving in, so don’t let a long to-do list weaken your love for the home. Just take a deep breath and work through these things one at a time.

Winter Is Coming, Protect Your Yard

by The Rullo Team

Snow is on it's way and with it, the frigid cold of the Midwest.  If you haven't taken steps to protect your yard and landscape from this severe annual weather, don't worry, it's not too late. We've compiled a list of simple defenses to protect your home from those surprise winter storms and the heavy blankets of snow that come with.


Check Your Trees for Dead Limbs or Signs of Weakness

If you are in doubt about the health of your trees call an arborist to come and inspect them, this will help determine if any trees or branches have insect damage or are suffering from dieback, a condition where the branch begins to die from the tip back to the base. Dieback spreads from the young shoots to the larger branches. That is why, removing dead, damaged or diseased branches is so important, especially before the weather turns, as weakened branches are more susceptible to fall or crack off under the weight of the heavy snow.  This will protect further damage from the next storm, and will protect your home from falling branches.   

Prune  Properly

The best time to prune varies from plant to plant. Though, generally, winter is a good time to prune trees. It's easier, because the leaves are gone, so you can easily inspect the branches and tree structure for any signs of weakness. For evergreens, however, you should wait until after the last winter freeze before pruning. Obviously, some trees fare worse than others in a snow storm, and one of the main reasons is something called "the crotch angle of the tree. On some trees, such as pears, if the angle of the branch shooting off the trunk is too tight, the branch will have a weak connection and can easily break under the weight of heavy snow or ice. On some evergreens, if this angle is too horizontal, it will, usually catch more ice and snow, so there is more of a chance to break off. Don't prune your trees while the ground is frozen; This causes the tree to lose a lot of water and moisture, which is obviously not a good thing. 


Avoid Topping Any Trees

Tree topping has been a widespread practice for many years, however most arborists know and understand that doing this, only creates more problems instead of correcting them. Topping a tree can upset the balance between the crown and the roots, which usually results in a sick, undernourished tree. Topping also disfigures the tree's natural form, not to mention beauty, and exposes the bark to full sun which can led to being sun scaled and encourage the development of disease cankers. More importantly, this new growth that develops is much weaker, due to the new sprouts growing from the surface of stubs instead of being anchored from within it's limbs. These fresh branches are more vulnerable to heavy snow falls and winter winds and much more prone to breakage. 


Keep Plants Well-Hydrated

Remember, plants continue to lose moisture through their leaves, even in winter, so they need water. If plants are well-hydrated, they are more likely to survive a hard freeze. If it's a new tree you'll still want to water it, especially if your not getting much precipitation.  Most newly planted trees can go up to two weeks without rain in the wintertime, but you don't want to push it much past that.  There are also tools like anti-transpirant from Wilt Pruf.  These guard your plants against moisture loss, caused by transplant shock, drought and windburn. It's easy, you just spray the top and bottom of the leaves, which creates a wax-like protective layer, and you're done.





Protect Your Plants from Freezing

Cold winter winds completely sap the moisture out of leaf tips, so protect them. Put up some sort of wind screen, burlap is perfect for this.  You can simple make a wall with the burlap and two stakes, or if you think your fragile plant needs more protection, you can wrap the burlap around the tree, like a blanket.   This blocks a lot of the harsh wind from ravaging your beautiful greens. Be sure to use burlap, or something like it, never use plastic.  This can create a heat trap, very bad, you don't want your plants to over heat.  




Don't Shake Snow or Ice Off Branches

This can cause additional damage to your already weakened plant. The snow or ice on the branch could have already done its damage, so just wait until everything melts before inspecting.  

Check Your Salt Usage

Salt is a very effective way to melt snow and ice but it can damage plants and trees by drawing water away from their roots. Minimize this risk by using one of the more eco-friendly melting agents like CMA (calcium magnesium acetate). It is a little more expensive than standard road salt, but it is also biodegradable and non-corrosive, which means little to no rust damage to cars. And CMA has little negative effect on animals or plants. Some people use urea (or carbamide), a chemical found in some fertilizers, this too, works as a melting agent. However, you need to sweep it into your grass after the storm has gone. Another reason to choose your melting agents carefully, is that when the snow melts, or if there is a heavy winter rain, you don't want all of those corrosives running down into your sewer system.  The Carbamide  also filled with nitrates, which you don't want rushing into a nearby river system.  

Remove Broken and Fallen Branches

Remove damaged wood as soon as possible and make sure you make a clean cut on an already broken branch or limb. This helps protect it from insects and disease. Oh, and be careful if you're using a ladder.  Remember, it's winter, the ground is icy, so use extra caution. 


This stuff is common sense, but often overlooked.  When you start shoveling snow off your walkway, you sort of just toss it to the side and continue down the line, but make sure you aren't dumping it on top of plants or shrubs hiding beneath the snow. It is a good idea to mark those areas with a reflector or some kind of post.  If you are using a chainsaw in the wintertime, make sure the snow and ice are gone before you start. Again, you don't want to slip and fall, especially with a chainsaw in your hand.

There are a ton of snow blowing injuries, and there really shouldn't be.  Remember, never put your hand in front of one if it gets clogged; even if it is turned off. You could easily lose a finger or a hand from the tension on the blade.  


by The Rullo Team


National Frappe Day is observed annually on October 7.  

A very versatile drink with many variables. There are flavors to suit everyone.

Frappes are blended drinks made with either coffee or espresso and topped with whipped cream.

A Frappe may also refer to:.

  • Frappe coffee – a blended coffee beverage.
  • A frozen fruit-flavored dessert made with shaved ice.
  • A milkshake.


Stop by your favorite coffee shop and enjoy a Frappe with a friend.  Enjoy one of the “tried and true” recipes below.

Coffee Frappe
Godiva Strawberry White Chocolate Mint Frappe
Fresh Fruit Frappe
Pink Pineapple Frappe
Caramel Frappe for Two

If you would like any information on local realestate, visit our website at

Staying Organized During The Fall Sports Season

by The Rullo Team

ORGANIZATION!   A word that haunts many homeowners, especially active families;  when football cleats, hockey sticks, and various balls of shapes and sizes start invading your living room, family room & kitchen! But family and organization don't necessarily have to be contradictions.  Here are some simple home organizational tips to help you stay organized during your child's sport seasons.  The key here is variety and adaptability.  All of these storage tips can be easily modified, allowing you to adapt to your child's growing needs and interests.  


This may be the easiest way to stay organized in places like your garage;  where kids need to be able to grab balls & equipment quickly when they are in a hurry because they are presumably...late for practice Smile. It's a fantastic & easy DIY project.   


One of the keys to an organized garage is shelving!  Lots and lots of shelving.  In this aspect....nothing beats a great cubbie system.  You can make it even more convenient by using various sized cubbies;   storing balls, bikes, helmets, bags, anything your little heart desires!


This little rack is a life saver for all hockey  moms!  If you have a hockey player living in your home, you know you'd rather keep that equipment outside than bring it anywhere near your home due to the stench it will leave where ever it comes in contact with ANY surface in your home or garage....for days afterward. What's worse, if equipment doesn't dry completely, bacteria can grow on your child's pads which not only makes them smell even worse, but can potentially lead to rashes on your child's skin & other health risks!  Not to worry anymore.... the problem has been solved.  Invest in a drying rack!  And for the more handy parents out there, these can be easily and cheaply made with some PVC and ingenuity.  Here's a guide to a DYI Drying Rack.


The thing about child athletes is...they grow and so do their interests.  After a few seasons, you probably have enough equipment to open your own used sports store.  The answer to this problem is simple, a peg board!  It can instantly adapt to your child's growing arsenal of balls and equipment and coincidentally it's another easy DIY project. Check it out here: DIY Pegboard.


For equipment your kids use most frequently, this rollable storage bin is the perfect solution. It allows you to organize equipment by sport (soccer, tennis, baseball, etc.) and because it is on wheels, you can move it whenever necessary.  The Container Store has a some great options.

Hopefully this list helps lower the stresses of a busy fall sports season, allowing you to put all your effort into cheering on your little athlete.

St. Charles IL Scarecrow Fest!

by The Rullo Team

Welcome to the St. Charles Scarecrow Fest! 

October 9 - 11, 2015

Friday & Saturday 10am - 9pm

Sunday 10am - 5pm


Only 2 Days til Scarecrow Fest!!! The St. Charles Scarecrow Fest is a tradition for thousands of families, not only from the Fox Valley, but from the entire Midwest. Come and join generations of visitors who flock to this festival every year! The award-winning Scarecrow Fest has brought heartwarming memories to both children and adults for over 25 years!

The Scarecrow Contest, which boasts 100+ hand-crafted scarecrows, is the heart and soul of the festival. Visitors view and vote for their favorite in each of five categories. There's plenty to do all weekend long – which is why so many choose to "make it a weekend" in our charming community. Enjoy live entertainment, a huge arts and crafts show, carnival, and petting zoo – those are just a few highlights! You can even make your own scarecrow to take home. Plus, enjoy plenty of delicious food. 

2015 Scarecrow Fest Signature Events

Scarecrow Contest Displays

Fri & Sat 10-9, Sun 10-5. ROCKET FIZZ ZONE (Main Street between 4th & 5th Streets) and JEWEL-OSCO ZONE (3rd Street bewteen State and Cedar). View and vote for your favorite Scarecrows! Ballots available at the ROCKET FIZZ ZONE Information Booth.

SodaPop Tour and Coca Cola Museum

Fri & Sat 10-5, Sun 10-4Sample over 80 unique and craft sodas, browse the General Store and see Cocoa-Cola nenorabilia at this festival on wheels in the MUNICIPAL CENTER ZONE.

Make Your Own Scarecrow

Fri 11-4, Sat & Sun 10-4. FIFTH THIRD BANK ZONE (3rd Street between Cedar and Main Streets).


 (east side of the Fox River, north of Main)

Stuff and dress your own unique handmade scarecrow to take home.

Autumn on the Fox Arts & Crafts Show

Fri & Sat 10-5, Sun 10-4. Pottawatomie Park (just north of MUNICIPAL CENTER ZONE. along the Riverwalk)

Windy City Amusements Carnival

Thurs 6-10, Fri & Sat 12-10, Sun 11-6. 2nd and Cedar Streets. $25 unlimited ride armband special Thurs 6-10, Fri 12-4. Children less than 48" must be accompanied by an adult.

Photo Op Stations - Art by Joseph, The School of Art and Vintage Tractor Fri & Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. FIFTH THIRD BANK ZONE. Fun photo opportunities for family, friends and social media.

Additional Activities by Zone

R - Rocket Fizz   J- Jewel-Osco - F - Fifth Third Bank - M - Municipal Center


M - Fest T-Shirts - Button Man Printing, 7 E. Main

M - Make Handbands with Jenny Rotundo of House of Hair

M - Petting Zoo

F - Picasso Coloring Tent

F - Donut Eating Contest sponsored by Windy Acres Farm, 12pm & 2pm. $1 to enter

And: Childrens Craft: St. Charles History Museum, 215 E. Main Fri & Sat 10am-5pm

Friday, October 9
J- Make your mark in Sidewalk Chalk 10-6pm

M - Balloon Artist 10-4pm

Saturday, October 10
J- St. Charles Gymnastics Performances 10, 11, 1, 2, 3pm

M - Balloon Artist & Stiltwalker Magician 12-3pm

F - Fest Mascots, Chuck & Char 11-3pm

Sunday, October 11
J- St. Charles Gymnastics Performances 11-1:30pm

M - Balloon Artist & Stiltwalker Magician 12-3pm

F - Fest Mascots, Chuck & Char 12-4pm


Carnival Days & Times

Thursday 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Friday 12:00pm - 10:00pm

Saturday 12:00am - 10:00pm

Sunday 11:00am - 6:00pm

The possibilities are endless. Best of all….admission, parking, trolleys and parking shuttles are all FREE! Come on out and experience why Scarecrow Fest is a four time winner of the "Top 100 Events in North America." For more information, go to: Scarecrow Festival
Just so you don't miss anything, we've included a printable map of the festival. Just Click Here: Scarecrow Festival Map 

If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in the Fox Valley Area please contact a real estate professional with the Rullo Team.

 If you would like any information on local real estate, visit our website at

Fox Valley Fun Fall Activities This Weekend!

by The Rullo Team

Student Harvest Days
October 2, 2015 - October 2, 2015
Garfield Farm and Museum
3N016 Garfield Road
Campton Hills, IL 60175


Harvest Days at Garfield Farm will display the nearly complete restoration of the 1842 threshing barn. This past year, the 173 year old structure, which was barely recognizable, was transformed to its original glory.  The missing hewn beams have been replaced, there is now a solid wood floor, the doorways have been re-opened, and it is now on display for the public.

Volunteers will demonstrate the farm skills of the 1840s, stimulating the minds of the young and the old alike, with demonstrations on domestic manufacturing processes such as, spinning wool or rendering of tallow for making candles,  flailing and winnowing wheat, shocking and husking corn and much more. The oxen, sheep, turkeys, geese, pigs, and chickens all add an authenticity to the traditional farm experience.  

Limited to 600 students. $5 students; $4 adults. Reservations required. Call 630.584.8485.

Here Come The Mummies
October 2, 2015 - October 2, 2015
Arcada Theatre
105 E. Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174
8 p.m.

Here Come the Mummies is an exciting-upbeat funk band, consisting of various professional session musicians out of Nashville, Tennessee.  The entire band is completely wrapped in bandages like mummies! It is rumored that there are several Grammy awards among the band members, but no one knows for sure, as the identities of band members are kept "under wraps." Members are believed to be under contract to various record labels, hiding their identities so as to prevent contract disputes while performing.  An absolute must-see for this return Arcada engagement, guaranteed to be a truly memorable night!





The Cow Goes Moo and Scarecrows Too

September 12, 2015 - October 3, 2015

Primrose Farm

5N726 Crane Road

St. Charles, IL 60175


Set among its 100+ acres of open agricultural space, historic farm demonstration plots and restored farm buildings offer an energizing environment where people of all ages can reconnect with some essential and long-lost arts and skills, such as learning how to milk a cow by hand, practicing the forceful art of blacksmithing, or performing other farm chores.  There are also activities for the little ones, ages 1+ can experience the sounds of the farm as parents and toddlers are introduced to farm animals and scarecrows, after there will be snacks and story time in the farm summer kitchen.  

Resident $5; Nonresident $7.50. Advance registration required at St. Charles Parks

October 3, 2015 - October 3, 2015
Pottawatomie Park 
8 North Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174

Embark upon a majestic paddlewheel boat as you watch aspiring collegiate rowers race down the beautiful Fox River in St. Charles, IL among the fiery fall foliage. Visit Row St. Charles for more info. 

Meet the Artists/ A Gallery of Nature
October 3, 2015 - October 3, 2015
Wasco Nursery and Garden Center
41W781 Rt. 64
St. Charles, IL 60175

The Nature Artists Guild of the Morton Arboretum Exhibit at A Gallery of Nature will be on display. Meet the artists at a reception on Saturday, October 3rd, 4pm-6pm. Exhibit on display 9-5pm Mon-Sat; 10-5pm Sun.

Scarecrow Making Class

October 4, 2015 - October 4, 2015
Heinz Brothers
2010 E. Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174

1-2pm. For ages 5+. Great way to start off the fall season. All materials-clothes, straw and more supplied. Come join the fun without having to clean up the mess! $15 per child. Advance registration required with Saint Charles Park District.  Check out Hickory Knolls Discovery Center for more fall activities throughout the season.  

We'll be posting more fun Festivals & Events for the Holiday Season on our Facebook, Google + Page & check back often! If you have something you'd like us to share, send us an email and we'll be happy to share your event with our community as well (as long as it's appropriate for everyone).

If you are interested in more information about the benefits of homeownership in the Fox Valley Area, please contact a Real Estate professional with the Rullo Team

When to see Fall Colors in Illinois!

by The Rullo Team

Every year, we all wonder, when will the fall colors be at their best?? According to Ron Wolford, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, “predicting peak fall color is very difficult. Normally colors peak in northern Illinois around mid-October, but a few years ago we didn’t get peak color until late October. So peak color varies from year to year. The best fall color occurs when we have bright, sunny days and cool nights with sufficient rainfall.”

Check out these websites to help in the search for the best fall color:

By U of I Extension, a comprehensive fall foliage website with fall color updates for states across the United States. Also listed are many major trees and shrubs with pictures of their fall color. How cool to watch the changing leaves on the webcams.

Take a virtual walk through the woods with this website, also from U of I Extension. Learn tips to make your walk safe and fun. Learn all about the wonders of nature!!

If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in the Fox Valley Area, please contact a Real Estate professional with the Rullo Team.

Best Pumpkin Patches in the Fox Valley!

by The Rullo Team

Autumn in the Fox Valley is the time of year when we fall in love with our community all over again; the cool sunny days, the crisp air, sweaters, the fiery changing of leaves, the amazing buzz of energy as the new season takes off and of course..... PUMPKINS. Below, we've made a list of the best Pumpkin Patches in the area to help get your fall activities off to the right start.


Windy Acres
Address: 37W446 Fabyan Parkway
Geneva, IL 60134
Phone: 630-232-6429
Fax: 630-232-6459
Website: Windy Acres


Kuipers Family Farm
Address: 1N318 Watson Road
Maple Park, IL 60151
Phone: 815-827-5200
Fax: 815-827-4100
Kuipers Family Farm

Norton's Produce
Address: 39 W 369 Illinois Highway 64

Saint Charles, IL 60175
Phone: 630-377-8118
Website: Norton's Produce

Sonny Acres Farm
Address: 29W310 North Avenue
West Chicago, IL 60185
Phone: 630-231-3859
Sonny Acres Farm

Abbey Farms
Address: 2855 Hart Road
Aurora IL, 60502
Phone: 630-966-7775
Abbey Farms

Now you know where to find your pumpkins, now lets talk about picking the perfect pumpkin.


It's a piece of cake!...I mean pie!

First, determine the purpose of this pumpkin; party, decorating or eating? 

                                                                 CARVING & DECORATING YOUR PUMPKIN

Your goal here is aesthetics.  

  • Look for pumpkins that are visually appealing, evenly a deep orange, the shape is whatever appeals to you, pumpkins that are a little lopsided and un-even can make the coolest looking pumpkins, be creative! For instance, if it grew on its side and has a flat spot, you can either make that the back or use it as part of your design!
  • Make sure your Pumpkin is free from cuts, soft spots, bruises. The flesh should feel hard, and not give easily. You do not want to buy a rotting pumpkin!!!
  • Lastly, make sure the stem is attached.

Now, store it carefully, especially if you pick it from the vine yourself. Cure a fresh-picked pumpkin by keeping it in a dry place. Don't handle or disturb it. Curing toughens the rind, making it less prone to rot. Pumpkins will keep for months in a cool (50 F to 65F dry, low humidity environment; such as a cool, dry basement or porch. 


Tip: One of the best parts of carving a pumpkin is obviously the baking and eating of it's seeds. Save your seeds for a nice fall snack! Here is a simple pumpkin seed recipe from the Food Network!

                                                                             Picking a Pumpkin for Pie

You'll want a small, sweet type of pumpkin that has been developed for eating. These are smaller (typically about 8" to 10" diameter.) The meat is much less stringy and smoother than a decorative pumpkin. Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A and potassium. One-half cup of cooked pumpkin provides more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains only 81 calories. It's low in fat and sodium! ***Be sure to tell them that you intend to use it for a pumpkin pie, they will help you pick the right one. Again, look for firm, no soft spots, or signs of any rot. Here is a step-by-step guide to making fresh pumpkin pie from hand picked pumpkins.



 If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in the Fox Valley Area please contact a real estate professional with the Rullo Team.


by The Rullo Team



Fall began today, September 23, early this morning at 4:21 A.M. The word equinox means "equal night"; night and day are about the same length of time.  From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights (i.e., hours of daylight decline).

If you would like any information on local real estate, visit our website at

Geneva IL 10 Fall Maintenance Projects for your Home

by The Rullo Team

1. Time to Stow the Mow...errr!

Two Words: Fuel Stabilizer.  If your mower sits for months at a time with gas in the tank, it will start to deteriorate and damage the internal parts of the engine.  You can protect the your mower from this with a $10 bottle of stabilizer.  This way you can keep gas and your mower in good condition over the winter.

Another mower tip is to cool and remove the spark plug the pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole. Then pull the Starter cord a couple times to distribute the oil.  This will keep the pistons lubricated and ensures an easy start to spring. Lastly, turn the mower on its side and clean out the grass and junk from the mower deck.

2.  Hoses Out!

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets.  Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and plumbing.  If this water freezes, it can expand and crack the pipes.  Do this early, so a sudden cold spell doesn't surprise you with unnecessary damage.

3. Give your sprinklers a Long Break...

Drain your irrigation systems.  Even deep buried systems can freeze, which again, leads to broken pipes and sprinkler heads.

Turn off the water to the main valve then shut off the automatic controller. Next open the drain valves to remove water from the system and remove any above ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out.  If you don't have valves, then you may need to hire a pro to blow the pipes with compressed air.  This is well worth it.  

4. Caulk your Cracks

Get a couple of tube of colored caulk to match your exterior. Go around your home and seal the cracks between the trip, window frames, door frames, pipes, basically anywhere you see a crack.  This is one of the simplest and most important jobs you can do to ensure you're not wasting energy this winter.


5. Get your head in the gutter 

clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams which often lead to expensive repairs.  After all the leaves have fallen, remove them from your gutters. Make sure your gutters aren't sagging; tighten gutter hangers and downspouts.  If you find any colored sand or grit it is most likely from your shingles.  If you find enough of this, it may be time to replace the roof.  

*Your downspouts should extend atleast 5 feet from your home to prevent foundation problems

6. Raise the Roof!

Look for warning signs of damage or any loose or missing shingles.  If shingles are missing, you should replace immediately.  Black algae stains are normal, but masses of moss could mean that your roof is decaying underneath.  If you do find moss, call a roofer for an evaluation. 

You'll also want to check your plumbing vent stack, which is usually lined with a rubber collar (called a boot) that may crack or loosen over time. They will definitely wear out before your roof does, so check it out annually.  


7. Drains

Look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your home atleast 6 vertical inches and ideally over ten feet away.  This way, you'll keep water from soaking the soil around the foundation, which often leads to cracks and leakage.   

8. Check your furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional before winter.  These checks really should take place annually.  Make sure to check the filters.  This should take place every two months anyway.  If your HVAC includes a humidifier, make sure to replace this filter as well.

9. Prune plants

Late fall is the best time to prune your plants.  The goal is to keep limbs and branches 3 feet from your house, so moisture doesn't continually drip on your roof and home during the winter and to prevent damage from strong winds.  

10. Check your fireplace

This is an important safety check.  Grab a flashlight and take a peek inside.  Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.  Look into the flue to make sure it's free of birds, nests, branches and any other obstructions.  Check for missing or cracked bricks and if you find any damage, call a fireplace and chimney inspection service, which will cost anywhere from $79-$500.  Make sure your fireplace is free of creosote buildup.  It is a good idea to get a professional chimney sweep every two years.  


 More Winterizing Tips Below from 

For more home improvement tips, visit our website at

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 466




Contact Information

Photo of The Rullo Team Real Estate
The Rullo Team
RE/MAX Great American North
40W160 Campton Crossing Drive
St. Charles IL 60175
Phone: 630-513-1771
Mobile: 630-272-4310
Fax: 630-513-5308