If you’ll be leaving a residence for an extended amount of time during the cold-weather season, home winterization may be something to consider.
Home winterization can take on different meanings. In terms of automobiles or homes that won’t be vacant for more than a couple of weeks during cold weather, it simply means getting them ready for use during the winter. But if your moving out, closing up a summer vacation home or joining birds that fly South for the winter, home winterization means preparing the residence to withstand freezing temperatures while it’s unoccupied and with no utilities.
The checklist for leaving a home for say, at least a couple of weeks, is pretty obvious:
- Lock all doors and windows
- Turn off and unplug most electronic devices
- Clean out your refrigerator and pantry
- Leave a few lights plugged in with timers to give an appearance that the home is still occupied
- Stop your mail and newspapers
- Have a neighbor periodically check in on your home and property
- Consider installing a remote security system
Another important step for long-term winter vacancy comes with maintaining your home’s plumbing system. Perhaps the most important aspect is draining every drop of water completely out of your plumbing system. A checklist here includes:
- Outside hoses should be disconnected from faucets and covered with insulating material.
- Water heaters should
tobe drained, especially if they are inside your house.
- Water lines should be left empty, so standing water can’t freeze. Turn on all the faucets in the house so that every fixture is running, then turn the water off at the meter or well. This drains most of the water out of the system. Using an air compressor, add air pressure to the lines to blow all remaining water out. Leave the valves open
- Irrigation systems, if present, should also be drained of water.
- Make sure all the water is out of the toilet tanks. Pour RV antifreeze into the toilet bowls and sink drains to ensure they don’t freeze and break.
Full home winterization might be overkill if you are leaving for a week, but it is the only way of completely ensuring your home is safe from burst pipes and water damage while you are away. All Clear Plumbing master plumber Scott Smith recommends full home winterization for any home that will be vacant for a month or more. If you are gone for a shorter period of time, all that’s suggested is turning your water off at the meter and opening up your faucets. If you have an electric water heater, turn it off. If you have a gas water heater, turn it to “vacation” mode. Take the pressure off by opening up the valves and when they’re dry, close them back up. Leave your house thermostat set at 50 degrees, but don’t go any lower.
Since 2012, All Clear Plumbing has served the Upstate with a plumbing service your grandfather would recognize. Whether it’s home winterization or any other plumbing or drain cleaning service you might need, call All Clear Plumbing at 864-979-7059.