Useful Tips On How To Winterize A Vacant Home
As a homeowner, if you are leaving your current home for an extended period of time, it is important that you winterize your home properly before leaving, to prevent any deterioration and unnecessary utility costs. This can also apply to your summer home.
- Empty your freezer completely. If the power goes out for an extended period, your frozen food will thaw and then re-freeze, which is dangerous.
- Clean the fridge and freezer walls thoroughly and leave the doors ajar to prevent the spread of mold and mildew.
- Remove all perishable food, and ensure that dry foods remain stored in containers with tight lids.
- Insect proof and rodent proof vulnerable areas such as under the sink, counters and in cupboards.
- Empty out any trash.
Plumbing and utilities
- Turn off the water supply at the main supply point – if a pipe bursts or leaks while you are away, the damage could be considerable and expensive.
- Shut off the water to the washing machine and dishwasher.
- Remove the excess water in the lines by using an air compressor.
- Ensure that the drain traps are free of water by pouring the appropriate anti- freeze solution into them.
- Drain the water from any indoor or outdoor pools.
- Turn off and drain fountains and any other sources of stagnant water.
- Shut off any tub and sink drains.
- Set the thermostat to keep the inside temperature just above freezing and to keep things dry.
- Unplug all your appliances to protect against power surges and avoid the risk of fire.
- If the absence is going to be for a long period than usual, shut off the gas hot water heaters completely.
Garden and outdoor areas
- Trim trees and dead branches, to prevent damage during storms.
- Clear out your gutters of leaves, sticks and other debris, allowing the water to drain unhindered.
- Cover any plants that are susceptible to frost damage properly.
- Safely store away all your outdoor furniture and other accessories in the garage or storage shed.
- Trim your lawns, which grow much slower in the colder months.
- Secure all the windows, sliding doors and external doors with deadbolts, security type hinges, slide locks and other equivalent security locks where necessary.
- Set your interior lights on timers, add motion detector outdoor security lights.
- Store away any boats, ATVs, bicycles, expensive vehicles and any other pleasure crafts, and block any views into this storage space.
- Forward your mail, stop any paper delivery, and ask a neighbor to periodically visit and retrieve any items that may have been left at the front door.
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