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Preparing a Vacant Home for Winter

Preparing a Vacant Home for Winter

Photo by Sam Beasley on Unsplash


If you are preparing to sell your home or you are going to be away from it for a long period of time then it is always best to winterize your home before you leave it. Leaving your home vacant can leave you feeling nervous because you don’t want anyone to vandalize it or break in. The last thing we worry about is preparing it for the coming cold nights during winter. When our homes are occupied, a lot of the things that we need to worry about in the winter will be in good condition because we are there to care for it by default. However, when we leave our home for a long period of time, we run into the risk of dealing with water damage due to our pipes bursting, pest infiltration and more. Coming back to unexpected problems from a trip can leave you feeling devastated and angry, but these problems can be avoided by preparing your home should it ever be left vacant. 


Call a Plumber

One of the first things you should before leaving your home alone is call a plumber to winterize the pipes and the water system. By doing this, you will avoid dealing with any expensive damages that might happen if you were to ignore your pipes during winter. The plumber will be able to check out the entire water system and prepare it for the upcoming cold months by removing or draining any water from your water heater and other sources of water. This will also save you some more money on your utility bills since you won’t have to leave the heat on to prevent pipes bursting. 


Drain Outdoor Hoses

During the cold winter months, we are warned to stay mindful of our pipes when we are away from home. If we neglect the pipes then it could be disastrous for our home and to our finances. When water hoses are not drained and disconnected then it can lead to the pipes and spigots freezing and damaging them while you are away. If you do need to water while you are away, then make sure that the person watering knows to disconnect and drain the hoses after it is used to avoid any costly damages from happening. 


Seal the Home

When you leave your home unattended, you never leave your door or windows wide open. In order to prevent any animals, insects or people entering your home, you must remember to close all windows and doors to prevent them from seeking shelter in your home. Be mindful of any openings in your home even the dryer vent and the chimney. 



Removing any debris from your gutter does not only make your home look better but it can prevent any damage from occurring to your roof, foundation and the side of your home. If you do not clean up your gutters then it could lead to a build up and the weight of the debris and the ice can result in the guttering moving and damaging the side of your home. It can also lead to a potential ice hazard. 


Clean Up the Side of the Home

When you have anything on the side of your home, you are creating a home for water, insects and animals. When you leave anything on the side of your home, whether it is firewood, rocks or something else, it not only looks cluttered but it can grab the attention of insects and animals wanting a place to live. To prevent dealing with unwanted guests at your home and an eye sore, be sure to pick up before you leave. 


Disconnect Gas

If your home is vacant for a long period of time then it is highly recommended to disconnect the gas, especially since a gas explosion can cause way more damage than frozen pipes. Calling your gas company to disconnect the gas can prevent any problems like a gas leak from happening. If you will be away from home or you are selling your home, then be sure to call your gas company about disconnecting it while your home is vacant. 



When your home is left vacant then making it appear to be occupied by glance is important because it can prevent unwanted visitors from attempting to get in your home. To make it look like the home is occupied, you can set up lights on a timer, remove any leaves and snow from your yard and keep the driveway cleared from any debris. 


Check On Your Home

Although you might have made sure to make your home appear to be occupied by continually getting the yard cleaned up, trimming the bushes and trees and so on, but it still may not stop unwanted attention. By frequently checking to see how your home is doing, you will have to go periodically to ensure that squatters, burglars and kids aren’t hanging around it. 



Brian Burds

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