Are you heading to a warmer climate for winter? If so, it’s important to know how to prepare your home before leaving. There are many threats to your home that can cause trouble while you’re away. These include:
- Heating system issues
- Water damage
- Electrical system problems
Prepare Your Home Before Leaving for Winter by Making it Look Occupied
- Arrange for snow to get removed after a storm.
- Stop newspaper delivery so papers don’t pile up outside.
- Use motion-sensor exterior lights.
- Hold your mail with the post office.
- Use timers on interior lights.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up any packages at the door.
Protect Your Home Against Thieves
Make an effort to prevent burglaries when you prepare your home before leaving for winter. If you have an alarm system, check it before you leave so you know everything is working correctly. Go through the house and make sure all the locks are securely locked.
Move valuable items that are visible from the street, or close the blinds and drapes on windows if valuables can’t be moved. When burglars can clearly see what they could gain from breaking into your house, it makes it a target.
Protecting Pipes by Turning Off the Water
You might want to turn off the water supply in order to avoid major water damage in the event that a pipe leaks or bursts. Talk to a heating professional before doing this so that you don’t cause any problems to your heating system by turning off the water.
If you are turning off the water supply, then you need to flush all toilets after doing so. This will clear water from the bowl and tank. Open your faucets so that water drains from the pipes. Use plumber’s antifreeze in your toilet. Hire a plumber if you’re unsure about this process.
Don’t Allow Plumbing to Freeze
If you don’t turn off the water main, keep the heating system running (at a lower temperature than normal) so that pipes don’t freeze. Frozen pipes may burst, crack, and leak. Insulate any exposed pipes with foam wrapping or tubing. Disconnect any exterior hoses to prevent damage to spigots.
Prevent Pests to Prepare Your Home Before Leaving
Perform a thorough cleaning of your home. Clean out the oven. If you are leaving for many months, unplug the freezer and refrigerator after cleaning and defrosting them. Prevent mildew by keeping their doors open slightly.
Make sure there aren’t any openings to the home that pests or animals can get in. Close the fireplace flue to keep bats, squirrels, and birds out. Check that the chimney cap is fastened securely and has a screen.
Prepare for Possible Emergencies
Check all the smoke detectors’ batteries. If you don’t have one, install a smart home system and link your alarms to alert you on your phone. Call your local police department and let them know your home will be vacant during the winter season.
There is a lot to think about when you prepare your home before leaving for winter. Use the above tips to get your home ready to be vacant for a few months.