Owning a vacation home is great and comes with many benefits, but it’s crucial to protect your home while you are away. Winterizing your home is essential, as you don’t want to come back in the spring or summer to realize the pipes froze and burst while you were away. Before fall officially begins, take a look at our tips for winterizing your vacation home to preserve your house over the colder months.
Turn Off Water
The first step in winterizing your vacation home is to turn off the water supply to the house. You can typically find the main water valve at the water meter around the exterior or in the basement, or turn off your well pump at the electrical panel. Next, you will want to drain water from the pipes. Start with the lowest faucet, usually found in the basement or connected to a hose around the exterior, then turn on every faucet in the house. Be sure to continue running all the faucets until no more water comes out, and disconnect all hoses from hose bibs.
You may think about turning off the heat in your vacation home since no one will be around, but your pipes will suffer in the freezing temperatures. However, it doesn’t need to be too warm- most experts agree that setting the thermostat in your vacation home to 55-58 degrees is ideal. Keeping on the heat will keep wood floors and trim from contracting too much, which could lead to damaging caulk joints and paint. The heat will also help to protect the pipes in your exterior walls and attic from freezing or bursting during a winter storm.
Speaking of a winter storm, remember to move all outdoor furniture into the shed or garage, or tie them all down tightly. This will help to keep your items safe and in good condition, rather than being tossed around in a storm.
Before leaving your vacation home, be sure to take the time to go around the home and unplug all appliances. If you leave them plugged in, they will just be drawing electricity for months while no one is there! Also, disconnecting plugs prevents any electrical surges or fires from occurring.
You may want to leave a few lights plugged in, as many vacation homeowners set a timer with their lights to have to look as though someone is home. This is not a bad idea to keep the house safe and can include outdoor lighting systems as well. It’s always a good idea to have an electrician perform an inspection before you leave to ensure everything is working properly.
It is highly recommended to have a service contract with a licensed plumber and HVAC company. These professionals can assure that the house is winterized correctly to optimize your mechanical system’s longevity. At T&G Builders, we include a winterization list tailored to our specific customer’s home and include the first year of winterization on all new homes.
Find Your Vacation Home 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.