Leaving your vacation home at the end of the summer is always a bittersweet moment. And, while the happy memories are still fresh, you’ll want to ensure you can enjoy your property in future years too.
Protect your pipes
Leaks from burst pipes, particularly in cold weather, can cause extensive water damage, which is a major problem for any property. Don’t let the pipes freeze. Set your thermostat between 50° and 55°F. Check insulation, seal any air leaks. On the exterior of the property, you can also insulate hose bibs and exposed pipes.
Empty your water system
It is also a wise precaution to empty the water system. To do this, turn off the main water supply, then drain each sink and shower faucet in the house. Drain dishwashers, washing machines, toilet tanks and bowls and outdoor faucets and hoses.
Clear the gutters
It’s important to clear your gutters so that snow and ice can melt unimpeded and away from the building. Install screens to the top of the gutters to prevent debris from clogging them up when you’re not there.
Check the roof
Look for raised shingles that might lift off completely and become a problem later. Check for pests and nests under the eaves. Inspect the chimney, close the flue and damper, and cap the chimney against cold air and animals getting in or birds nesting.
Unplug appliances and clear the kitchen
Protect appliances like televisions, toasters, washer/dryers and computers from power surges by unplugging them.
Don’t attract unwanted rodents or insects by leaving food behind in the pantry or kitchen cabinets. Give all counter tops and shelves a thorough clean to make sure there are no crumbs and use air-tight containers to store non-perishable items
Store away outdoor furniture
Protect and store outdoor furniture and barbecue grills either inside your vacation home or in an outbuilding. Alternatively, cover furniture with waterproof tarps and secure them.
Turn the gas off
Prevent dangerous, and potentially flammable, gas leaks at your property by having your gas supplier shut off the gas line.
Have a neighbor drop by
Having a trusted neighbor keep an eye on things while you’re away for the winter season is always a good idea. It also pays to line up local snow removal contractors ahead of time, so that you know who to call in case of extreme snowfall emergencies.
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