Stop slips, trips and falls. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Winterizing a home is the process of preparing the property to be vacant during the winter. You'll generally want to take these preventative steps this fall, before the winter season.
Being proactive can help protect against the risks of damage caused by broken water pipes and other household and property problems. Homes sometimes suffer damage due to cold and stormy winters, whether or not they are prepared for winter, but proper preparation for winter will stop “preventable damage” to homes, such as broken pipes, gas leaks, and more. If you discover any problem that could pose a hazard to you or your property, you should call a professional right away so you don't stay outside in the cold in your house this winter. If you're a snowbird heading south during the winter, there are several key things you can do to help prepare your empty house for winter.
If you decide to prepare your home for winter on your own, take plenty of time before the cold weather hits. Whether you're flying in the chicken coop all winter or taking a long vacation, it's important to prepare your empty house for winter before you leave. This will keep water flowing, preventing interior leaks and most ice dams, which generously occurred in the northeast just two winters ago. The purpose of preparing a house for winter is to avoid higher energy costs and any damage caused by cold and snow.
Assuming you don't live in a neighborhood where known thieves reside, notify your trusted neighbors that you won't be home for extended periods in winter. If you have a summer vacation home that you don't occupy in winter, be sure to take a fall weekend to visit the house and prepare it for winter. Taking appropriate winter preparation measures can help protect your home from theft, water damage, electrical or heating system breakdowns, and other potential threats while you're away for an extended period of time. Ask them to “keep an eye on your home and report any unusual activity or damage it suffers” (give them your contact phone number and contact email address for the winter).
If you live in the northeastern part of the country or in the upper Midwest, you know that your home may be subject to the brutal Northeast or severe winter weather. Whether you're closing your beach house after Labor Day or preparing your primary residence for the cold season, preparing for winter is an important process that homeowners should not neglect with respect to their property. Whether you're leaving for a few weeks or a year, the following tips will help you plan and execute a winter preparation down to the last bolt and nut.