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. The purpose of preparing a house for winter is to avoid higher energy costs and any damage caused by cold and snow.
Here's how to properly prepare your home for winter so it can withstand the season. A big part of the winter preparation process involves insulating the house from the cold. By simply sealing your home properly and protecting it from air leaks, you'll use less energy to heat your home, which, of course, is equivalent to saving on utility bills. It is recommended to prepare pipes for winter when a house will be empty for a long period of time and no water will pass through the pipes.
The process of preparing for winter involves emptying the water heater, draining all the water from the pipes and filling all the fittings with an antifreeze solution. 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. However, when preparing an empty house for winter, you must turn off the water supply even before it reaches your house. 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.
This will keep water flowing, preventing interior leaks and most ice dams, which generously occurred in the northeast just two winters ago. Combating the harsh winter temperatures can be difficult, but if you properly prepare your home for winter beforehand, you can avoid shaking too much for the next few months. 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. The exterior of the house is especially important for winter, as it is completely exposed to the elements.
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. 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). It's not the same as insulation, which involves wrapping the pipe to keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. Preparing your home will help minimize or even eliminate any damage your home may suffer during a harsh winter.
If you decide to prepare your home for winter on your own, take plenty of time before the cold weather hits. Before the temperature drops too low, having a professional examine your HVAC system will help keep the boiler running all winter long. Your best chances of getting a deal will be before or after the snow season, but keep in mind that inventory is likely to be limited if you wait until after winter.