Whether you’re a snowbird moving south for the winter, or you’re just leaving a second home for a few months, you should winterize your home. Home and Garden Trendds outlines a few ways to make sure that your warm weather home stays in great condition through the colder months!
Prepare Your Home
Making sure you have everything cleaned and prepared for winter is one of the best ways to prevent issues in your summer home. By giving your home a deep clean — including any caulking, touch up paint, and carpet cleaning — you can make sure the house will be ready to return to. This will help to alleviate any worries while you are away, and make your return as low-stress as possible.
Appfolio points out that you will also want to check the air flow and vents in your home for issues such as built up dust. This includes your HVAC, vents, room fans, dryer vents, and baseboard heaters. Clean them all so you won’t have any issues over the winter months. Also, have your HVAC unit professionally and thoroughly inspected; find a well-reviewed service, as any issues with the unit will be extremely costly to fix. Make sure to switch out your air filters as well — have the right level of permeation so you won’t have built-up allergens floating around when you open the doors in the spring.
Don’t forget to clean and seal your windows. You can find cheap plastic window seals that will help prevent drafts. Sealing your windows will allow your heating unit to work more efficiently. The still air between the interior and the windows is a great way to beef up your insulation. The seals will also keep bugs from getting into your home while you’re gone.
You should make any needed window repairs before you leave. Unless you have the right tools for removing glass and applying putty properly, you should hire a pro to fix your windows. This is also a fantastic time to make sure all the locks on your windows and doors are working. You don’t want to make it easy for anyone to break into your home while you’re gone.
To ensure your home’s security, if anyone has borrowed keys for your home in the past, consider installing new locks. Having a professional locksmith change out your locks is an affordable option, especially considering the security it ensures; costs vary, but average $50 to $150 per door. Check out Angi.com and read prior customer reviews to start the search for a contractor.
HGTV recommends not forgetting to prepare your garden. Add mulch to your flower beds. Check any plants for diseases so they don’t spread while you’re gone. Replace summer annuals with flowers built for the winter. You should also prepare your lawn by seeding it with cool-season grass and fertilizing it. If you’re planning on selling your summer home, you should make sure your garden and lawn look good. Your home’s curb appeal makes it sell much faster.
Prevent Costly Fixes in the Spring
Make sure your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, vehicles and pipes are prepared for anything that could happen while you’re gone. Start by changing any old batteries and test all of your detectors, particularly the ones in the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms.
Then address any vehicles you plan to store over winter. Check and change the fluids as needed, inflate your tires to the maximum recommended PSI, and take steps to prevent pests. Even if your vehicle is stored indoors, you should also use a high-quality cover to keep it safe.
Finally, Bob Vila says to insulate any pipes that are in exposed or unheated areas of your home. For example, pipes in the exterior of your home or on exterior walls will need to be insulated. If your basement or attic is unheated, pipes will need to be insulated in those areas as well. Insulation will prevent your pipes from freezing, cracking, and flooding your home with water. You don’t want any surprises when you return in the spring.
Overall, use common sense when leaving a home in the winter. It is a good idea to invest in some light timers so it doesn’t seem like the house has been empty for months. You could also have a friendly neighbor check up on things from time to time — maybe even shovel your sidewalk. Winter is one of the best times of year for travel, but before you leave, make sure your home will be safe and sound!
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Thanks to Suzie Wilson of Happier Home for this article.