Winter maintenance tips

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


If you own property, it’s essential that you keep it in good condition, especially if you have tenants. They will expect you to stay on top of repairs and maintenance issues so no problems arise during their lease.

Jack Frost has arrived and all the leaves have fallen from your trees and bushes. This is a good time to trim off any dead or overgrown branches. Be sure to cut them back from any structures on the property to prevent water runoff and possible damage such as a branch falling through a window or even worse the roof.

Speaking of the roof, be sure to have a qualified roofer inspected it, even if there are no signs of water entry on the inside. Any gaps or openings on the exterior of any structure should be sealed. When the temperature dips below freezing, ice can form in gaps, enlarging them an allow water to enter once the ice melts.

While your roofer is up there, be sure to have him clean out the gutters and redirect any downspouts away from the property. Many local municipalities have revised their ordinances on gutter water. If your home has a gutter system which flow’s the water underground from the roof, be sure to check with your village if this is up to current codes.

Heating is going to be one of the most important areas to inspect. Be sure to contact a qualified heating and cooling company to inspect and clean your system at the start of each and every season. If you have a wood-burning fireplace inside of your property, be sure to have it inspected and properly cleaned. If it has been a while since you had the chimney swept, it may be time to tackle this important task as well. Improperly maintained fireplaces and chimney are a leading cause of calls to the fire department, so be sure to take the necessary precautions.

Lastly, be sure to wrap any water pipes that run through cold areas such as a basement or crawl space with insulation. Any water pipes that run on the exterior of the home should be turned off from the inside and the line should be drained of water. Be sure to educate everyone in your rentals about proper prevention when the temperature goes below freezing such as leaving a faucet on a trickle or leaving the cabinet doors open so heat can reach the pipes underneath.

Don’t forget to leave some salt and a few shovels around for your tenants as well.

To contact me, call 847-292-4700 or visit


About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

Check Also

Documentary illuminates Sardinian supper for the dead

A few years ago, we featured a unique collection of videos available on Vimeo that …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want More?

Subscribe to our print magazine
or give it as a gift.

Click here for details