Last week we mentioned ways to winterize homes for our clients who live in winter weather all year. However, many of our friends and clients utilize their homes in La Plata County as vacation homes, and they leave for the winter. If this is the case, there are additional preparations that should be made to ensure a home’s safety through the cold season. Below are some tips we recommend.
Turn Water Off: Be sure to turn water off if you leave your home for the winter. In our area, it’s possible for pipes to freeze, which expands them and oftentimes causes them to break. In addition to turning the water off, leave faucets on so any remaining water may be drained, instead of freezing and expanding pipes. Broken pipes can leave a mess and an expensive problem to fix!
Maintain Temperature of House: If you leave for a significant amount of time, it is important to maintain the temperature of the home. A temperature of 55 degrees helps avoid frozen pipes and keep the home at a moderate temperature.
Unplug Unnecessary Appliances: If you do not need the appliance over the winter, unplug it. In the case of lighting or faulty appliances, you could prevent fires.
Check the Home: If you plan to be gone for a long length of time, make provisions for someone to check the house often (every 2-3 days is ideal). In our digital age, there are many smart home systems available, such as Nest. These companies provide a way to monitor temperatures, security, lights, and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. They can send alerts to your smart phone to manage remotely.
Clear Area Around Home: Before you leave for the winter, be sure gutters are cleaned, debris is removed from the area surrounding the home, outside furniture if stored, and any other obstacle that could impact the home (such as a tree that could fall) is removed or mitigated.
These are just some of the tips to winterize your home. This is a crucial task if you plan to leave for the winter. We would love to assist if you have any questions regarding winter home preparation.