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How to winterize your vacation home: A step-by-step checklist.

Home / Home Insurance / How to winterize your vacation home: A step-by-step checklist.

A change in the seasons may mean a change in address.

If you’re preparing to close your vacation home for the winter, we’ve got you covered. To make sure the most important things are squared away, follow our step-by-step guide to winterize:

 

  • Have the heating system inspected and serviced.
  • Have the chimney inspected, and cleaned, if necessary.
  • Inspect the roof. If you find damage, make repairs accordingly.
  • Seal any gaps in the attic.
  • Remove dead trees or overhanging limbs that could cause damage.
  • Clean the gutters.
  • Wash any linens, bedding and towels. Store in a covered container.
  • Remove any food from the home.
  • Clean all closets and cabinets. Wipe dry, and leave the doors open to prevent mildew.
  • Clean and defrost the refrigerator/freezers. Wipe dry, and leave the doors open.
  • Clean the oven. Wipe dry, and leave the door open.
  • Clean the dishwasher. Wipe dry, and leave the door open.
  • Clean the washer/dryer. Wipe 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.
  • Shut off and drain outdoor water faucets.
  • Vacuum carpets.
  • Sweep floors.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Take any valuables with you.
  • Set the temperature to at least 55°F.
  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Activate the alarm system, if applicable.
  • Forward your mail.
  • Tell the local police department the property will be vacant. Leave them with emergency contact information.
  • Talk to your insurance agent, as you may need more (or less) coverage for your vacation home in the off season.

 

And don’t forget: Your everyday home needs winterizing, too. Ready to get started? Check out the complete checklist.

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