Want to winterize your home?

Porch furniture covered in snowWe have the checklist you need!

From car accidents to hurting yourself, the icy and cold weather conditions of winter have the potential to cause lots of damage. But, winter can also cause severe damage to your home and property, too. Burst pipes during a major winter freeze may cost up to $5,000-$70,000 in total damages and repairs! That’s why, if you leave your own home, summer home or any other property unoccupied over the winter, it pays to ‘winterize’ them. This helps prevent costly repairs and maintains your property while you’re away, making it ready to keep you warm and comfortable as soon as you return. The smartest thing you can do if you are leaving any property unoccupied over winter is to ‘winterize’ them. How do you do that? We have a Home Winterization Guide that details most of the major damage prevention steps that you can take to ensure that you have total peace of mind while you’re not at home during the winter.

Home winterization guide.

Adjust your thermostat

  • Do not turn your thermostat off.
  • Set it at the lowest temperature that will prevent pipes or anything else from freezing (at least 50 to 55 degrees).

Shut off your property’s water supply at the main valve

  • If you’re not sure how to do this or where the shut off valve is, always call a professional to help.
  • This eliminates unwanted pressurized water from entering your home.

Open all faucets to let water drain from pipes after shutting off the main

  • Call a professional plumber to help you open all faucets (inside and outside ones) after shutting down the main water supply and let them drain.
  • Your water main delivers pressurized water to your home but any remaining water in pipes could freeze in very cold conditions
  • Do this only after shutting off the main!

Clean all gutters to help water drain and flow through them

  • Remove all leaves and other debris, this helps prevent interior leaks and most ice dams.

Shut down natural gas or propane lines

  • Call your propane or natural gas service provider and have a technician do this to keep gas from entering your home while it’s vacant.
  • This reduces or eliminates the risk of accidental release, which may cause a fire or dangerous ignition.
  • NEVER attempt to work with your propane or natural gas line without calling your propane or natural gas provider.

Secure all ‘loose’ items on your property

  • Remove yard furniture, clean up your yard and secure any items that could be dislodged or have the potential to become missiles in severe wind conditions.

Let neighbors know that you’re going to be away

  • Ask them to keep watch on your home and to let you know of any unusual activity or damage.
  • Always give them your winter contact phone number and email address.
Wallace tech carrying propane hose

Unplug all electronic devices and appliances

  • This will help maintain low electric bills while you’re away
  • Always unplug power strips to protect your electronics from power surges, as they use some electricity even when switched “off.” This also prevents random sparks from overheating wires, reducing fire risk.

Drain your water heater, along with your interior pipes

  • Unless you are very confident or experienced, it’s always best to contact a plumber to do this for you to prevent any accidental flooding.
  • If you have a basement sink, simply hook up a hose from your water heater to the sink to drain the 30 to 60 gallons a typical home water heater holds.
  • All the particles and sediment that has collected in the bottom of the water heater, which inhibit efficiency, will also be washed away

Install a water flow sensor and low temperature sensor on your main water supply pipe

  • Linking these sensors to a 24/7 monitored alarm system or your smartphone will alert you about problems while you’re away.
  • Already have a round-the-clock intruder alarm system? Have them install these sensors for you.
  • You can probably download a smartphone app for notification of problems.
  • Need help installing sensors? It’s best to call your plumber.

Blow air through your pipes to rid your plumbing of any remaining water

  • Call your plumber to have them use an air compressor to do this for you, to better ensure that your pipes will not freeze.

Trust us to help you winterize your home. With years of experience living and working in a cold winter climate, the Wallace Energy is the local team of home service experts that you can count on to help with all of your home winterization needs. Need help winterizing your home or property? Just give us a call.