As the cooler weather sets in, it may be time to close your vacation home for the season. Being proactive in all areas of your property can protect your vacation home from low temperatures, wind, snow, and ice to come. Use our step-by-step winterize home checklist to help ensure things are safe and ready for your family next spring.
To winterize indoors:
- Have the heating system inspected and serviced.
- Have the chimney inspected and cleaned, if necessary.
- Seal any gaps in the attic.
- Wash any linens, bedding, and towels. Store them in a covered container.
- Remove food from the home.
- Clean all closets and cabinets. Wipe them dry and leave the doors open to prevent mildew.
- Clean and defrost the refrigerators/freezers. Wipe them dry and leave the doors open.
- Clean the oven. Wipe it dry and leave the door open.
- Clean the dishwasher. Wipe it dry and leave the door open.
- Clean the washer/dryer. Wipe it dry and leave the door open.
- Test your smoke detectors.
- Turn off the water supply, unless your home is protected by a sprinkler system.
- Drain the pipes by opening the faucets.
- Flush your toilet to clear water from the tank and bowl.
- Pour non-toxic antifreeze into the toilet tank and bowl to prevent any remaining water from freezing.
- Cover the toilet with plastic wrap.
- Close the sink and tub drains.
- Vacuum carpets.
- Sweep floors.
- Set the temperature to at least 55°F.
- Lock all doors and windows.
To winterize outdoors:
- Inspect the roof. If you find damage, make repairs accordingly.
- Remove dead trees or overhanging limbs that could cause damage.
- Clean the gutters.
- Shut off and drain outdoor water faucets.
- Take out the trash.
Don’t forget these winterizing extras:
- Take any valuables with you.
- Activate the alarm system, if applicable.
- Forward your mail.
- Tell the local police department the property will be vacant and provide your emergency contact information.
And don’t forget: Your everyday home needs winterizing, too.