Winterizing Your Home when You Go on Vacation
If you’re looking forward to spending a few days or even a few weeks away from your home for winter vacation, you want to make sure that your home is safe and secure. One of the ways to protect your home while you’re gone is to winterize it.
What is “Winterization?”
Winterization essentially means preparing something for the oncoming winter. When you winterize a home, you protect it against extreme temperatures, snow buildup and ice. Although winterization can be a lengthy process, you won’t come home to frozen pipes, expensive bills and general damage.
Avoid Water and Pipe Damage
When it comes to your pipes, you have two options. You can leave the water supply to your home on or you can turn it off. If you choose to keep your water supply on, keep in mind that you risk coming home to frozen pipes. To avoid this, you’ll need to keep your furnace running. By simply keeping your thermostat at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you should be in the clear. This option may be a good idea if the temperatures are not expected to get below freezing before you return.
If you’re going to be gone for some time or if freezing temperatures are coming your way, turning off your water supply can allow you to avoid having to deal with burst pipes in the future. After you turn off the water, make sure that you open all of your faucets and flush your toilets until all of the water is out of your pipes. If some water remains in your toilet, you can add a small amount of non-toxic antifreeze to the bowl and the tank to prevent the leftover water from freezing.
Prevent Ice Dams before They Form
As you know, ice dams can be detrimental to your roof. If you had a problem with icicles and ice dams in prior years, call your trusted roofing contractor to come take care of the problem. The roofer will find the right solution for you so you don’t have to worry about coming home to major roof repairs and roof leaks. The professional roofer may even inspect the roof to ensure that there are no major problems that could leave you with expensive repairs.
Reduce the Risk of Pests
Rodents and insects are quite happy to move into homes that are temporarily vacant. Once they make your home their home, it can be very difficult to get them to leave. To make your home less attractive to rodents, give your living spaces a good cleaning before leaving. Remove any perishable foods from your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. For flour and other bulk items, storing them in airtight containers will keep the bugs out. Any pasta and other boxes edibles should also be stored or eaten.
Before you shut and lock the door for the last time before heading to your destination, consider a final walkthrough to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Unplug all of your appliances to protect them against a power surge. Take out any remaining garbage, bring in the mail and remove any large branches or overhanging limbs that could damage the roof while you’re away. If you have a friend or neighbor who has been tasked with getting your mail for you or is willing to house sit, ensure that they have a key and a list of emergency numbers should something happen.
Enjoy Your Vacation
When your home is properly prepared for the winter, you won’t have to worry about taking off for a few days or weeks. You can enjoy your winter vacation and your return to home.