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Home Winterizing Checklist

Home winterizing checklist

If your house is going to be empty or unoccupied for extended periods of time over the winter months, it pays to have your home ‘winterized’. Whether you spend winter in warmer, southern climates, leaving your home vacant in northern climates or if you have a summer home that’s also unoccupied over the winter, it pays to be smart and winterize these properties during the autumn.

More than the other three seasons combined, the extreme cold temperatures and harsh weather of winter make it the season that’s most likely to cause damage, or other problems, to your home. These potential problems that can be very costly to repair, for example, burst pipes alone could cost as much as $5,000-$70,000 in total damages and repairs!

Winterization Checklist

Don’t stress about property damages (and costs!) caused by winter weather. Enjoy total peace of mind by getting a head start on winterizing your home’s comfort systems and property before the colder weather hits using this checklist:

  • Shut off the water at the main valve - If you’re not sure where it is or how to do this, always call in a professional to help. This helps prevent unwanted pressurized water from getting inside your home.
  • Open all faucets, allowing water to drain from your pipes after you shut off the main - Call a professional plumber to help you open your faucets (not just the outside ones). After shutting down the main water supply, allow them to drain. Water remaining in your pipes can freeze in very cold conditions, so do this only after shutting off the main.
  • Drain the water heater and interior pipes – This helps prevent flooding. If you have a basement sink, hook up a hose from your water heater to your sink to drain the 30 to 60 gallons a typical home water heater holds. All the particles and sediment that has collected in the bottom (that inhibit efficiency) throughout the year will also be washed away. If you’re unsure how to do this, always have a professional plumber help or you could cause more problems.
  • Get a water flow sensor and low temperature sensor installed on your main water supply pipe and hook them up to a 24/7 monitored alarm system or connected to your smartphone - This will alert you about any problems immediately, wherever you are! Already have a home security system? Ask your service provider to include water flow and low temperature sensors as part of the monitoring system. Most smartphones will let you download an app for alerts, too. Consult your plumber to help install any sensors, if needed.
  • Blow air through your pipes to rid your plumbing of remaining water – Call your plumber and have them use an air compressor to blow out any remaining water after draining your pipes. This will help ensure there is no water in your pipes to freeze. Call your plumber to help you with this project if you are in any way unsure.

Heating System

Remember to winterize and drain water pipes to prevent bursts
  • Adjust your thermostat - Set thermostats (don’t turn it off) at the lowest temperature (at least 50 to 55 degrees) to prevent pipes or anything else from freezing.
  • Shut down the gas line, whether you use propane or natural gas - Call your propane or natural gas service provider and have a technician shut off your gas line to keep gas from entering your home while it’s unoccupied for long periods to prevent damaging gas-induced fires and/or dangerous ignition. NEVER attempt to work with your propane or natural gas line without calling your propane or natural gas provider.

Other Home & Property Features

  • Clean gutters - This keeps water flowing, preventing interior leaks and most ice dams.
  • Unplug all electronics and appliances - This eliminates random sparks that may come from overheating wires, reducing fire risk. It also will help lower energy bills.
  • Secure yard furniture or any other loose items - Clean up your yard and secure any items that could be dislodged or blown around during severe storms.
  • Inform neighbors of your time away - Ask them to watch out for your home and report any unusual activity or damage.

Remember to check if your patio furniture can be outside year-round or not.Need any help? We’re here to do it!

Not comfortable about taking on any or all of the tasks on our checklist? Or have any questions about winterizing your home? As your local home services company, you can rely on our team to help you whenever and however we can. Call 1.800.984.1411 today!

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