Cold temperatures are creeping in, and pretty soon, winter will be in full swing. This makes October and autumn the perfect time to close up your waterfront home for winter. If you use your home as a vacation spot during the warmer seasons and your home will be sitting empty for months, several crucial steps must be taken to ensure your home will be ready for you next spring. T&G Builders has extensive experience with vacation homes and can recommend the best ways to care for your home during the off-season.
Check Your HVAC and Plumbing
First, you must ensure that your home’s plumbing and HVAC systems will make it through the winter. Hiring a plumber to winterize your pipes will help ensure that your pipes don’t suffer damage that wreaks havoc when you return. Here are a few other tips for preparing your air conditioning and heating systems:
- Clear debris from the outdoor condensing unit for your AC system and cover it with a waterproof fabric.
- Insulate any exposed piping in crawl spaces, attics, and outside walls. Shut off the water supply and open all faucets to drain the remaining water. This will help you avoid leaks and water damage when you aren’t around.
Inspect Your Home and Apply Necessary Repairs
As you close up your waterfront home for winter, you should inspect a few critical areas for damages before you leave your home alone for months. For example:
- Make sure any chimneys are free of nests. Check the flue damper to ensure it opens, closes, and locks. If you haven’t cleaned the fireplace recently, hire someone to clean it properly.
- Check all windows and doors to see how much air “leaks” through. Add weather-stripping to keep cold air from entering your home.
- Remove dirt, leaves, and debris from gutters. Wet leaves can add weight to gutters and cause significant damage, especially when frozen.
- Check your roof for potential weak spots or leaks.
All of these tips are to prevent your home from flooding or damage from heavy snowfall, freezing, and melting ice.
Clean and Prepare Your Outdoor Spaces
Don’t forget about the outdoor spaces when preparing your waterfront home for winter. Winter can be harsh, and you won’t be around to fix things later.
- Reseal your deck if needed.
- Clean and cover your grill and outdoor kitchen
- Protect and cover outdoor furniture.
- Cover or bring inside plants that need protection against frost or freezing temperatures
- Drain water fountains or features.
Ensure Home Safety
Finally, you can take a few more steps when closing up your waterfront home for winter. You want to take steps to ensure your home’s protection from break-ins, pests and animals, frozen pipes, and other disastrous elements.
- Find someone you trust close to your waterfront home to check on your property periodically.
- Prevent pest infestations by cleaning your home, emptying refrigerators and freezers, and removing all trash. Close the chimney flue and any other openings into your home.
- Set the thermostat to a temperature (about 55 degrees) that will keep the pipes warm enough to prevent freezing.
- Make sure someone in your waterfront neighborhood has your contact information in case of an emergency. Inspect your smoke detectors, check all windows and door locks, and close garage doors, fence gates, and other access points.
These steps can help preserve your beautiful waterfront home and prepare you for moving back next spring and summer.
Make Your Dream Home a Reality with T&G Builders
T&G Builders, located in Berlin, MD, has been a premier waterfront custom home builder and home improvement contractor serving Worcester and Sussex Counties for over 25 years. We are a locally owned and operated business known for our uncompromising commitment to quality, our passion for using innovative technology and premium materials to complete projects, and our exceptional attention to detail. In addition to building custom homes, we also specialize in remodeling your current house into your dream home! Our skilled team can assess your needs, determine the right design for your addition or improvement, and complete the entire construction process.