The process of preparing for winter will involve completely purging the water from the house's plumbing system. This includes emptying the water heater, draining all the pipes, and filling the various fittings with an antifreeze solution. Overwintering a house is the process of reopening pipes and water lines for use after leaving the building empty during the cold season. Homeowners or professionals can overwinter homes in spring after preparing them for winter to preserve them at sub-zero temperatures.
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. Last but not least, prepare your sprinkler system for winter by turning off the water and timer, draining it, and adding insulation to the parts of the above ground sprinkler system.
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. A house that has been winter conditioned to be left empty during the cold winter months will have to be de-wintered when you re-occupy it again. 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). This reduces or eliminates the risk of accidental release, which can lead to the explosions you've read about, especially in winter.
Preparing your home for winter as you head to your vacation home for the season ensures that there are no headaches to return to in spring. Natural gas is often turned off when a house is left unattended in winter to avoid the danger of gas leaks, and now you'll have to turn it back on. 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. If you divide your time between two residences, preparing your empty house for winter ensures that you have a fully functional space when you return in spring.
Your home is your biggest investment, so it's smart to make sure it's protected when you leave during the 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're going to be out and about during the winter months, you should avoid plumbing problems. The winter preparation process may have included filling drain openings with rags or seals to prevent sewer gases from reaching the house.
Now that you know how to prepare your home for winter, you're ready to enjoy the long winter without worrying about the house you left for the season.