How to Prepare Your Home for Winter Vacation?
Posted at 12 December 2019 in Blog by Gary Braun
It’s not surprising that so many people love to go away in the winter. Whether you’re off to check out some Christmas markets or want to soak up some sun in a warmer part of the world, the winter can be an ideal time to head on vacation.
There are certain ways you should prepare your home for winter vacations. This post is designed to be a checklist for closing house for winter. Preparing a house for vacation always involves a little bit of consideration, but there are extra considerations in winter, especially if you live somewhere cold.
So, how do you prepare your home for a winter vacation so you don’t come back to any nasty surprises?
Turn Off and Drain Water Lines
Water in the pipes means potential ice in the pipes, which can lead to the pipes bursting. Make sure you drain your water first. You can normally find a shut-off valve for all of your home’s water and here you can turn the water supply off altogether before you drain your water lines.
After turning off the main supply, you should leave the faucets running in every room of your house that has them, this will encourage all water to leave the pipes.
Open Cabinet Doors
By keeping cabinet doors closed you can stop the heat from the rest of the home getting into the area where the pipes are. Locate the pipes and allow them to share some of the heat from the rest of your home.
Turn Your Heat Down, Not Off
It can be tempting to put your heat totally off. You don’t want to be paying for heating while nobody is there to make the most of it, right? Actually, having some heat in your home is important, especially in an area where the weather can get extremely cold. Preparing a house for extended vacation means leaving the heating at 50-60 degrees, this is enough to prevent the pipes from freezing.
If pipes do freeze, you could be in for a nasty surprise and expensive repairs.
Don’t use electric heaters as these can provide an electrical safety risk or can overheat while you are not in the home to oversee.
Let Your Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets Drip
Allowing a slow drip through the faucets can keep some water moving through and keep the pressure running through the pipes. This means that the water is less likely to go stagnant and cause a freezing risk. The idea when it comes to preparing a house for vacation is to ensure there’s no freezing.
Be Sure to Turn Off Your Water Supply
You should turn off your water supply both indoors and outdoors. These may run on separate lines, so it is important to find out the plans to your house and whether you have one central valve to turn everything off.
You simply don’t need water during the time when you are away, so why risk having it in the pipes? Some people even like to run their appliances dry before going away to make sure there is no water running through the systems that can freeze up on them.
If You Have a Fire Sprinkler System
If you have a fire sprinkler system you may be able to keep the water running just through this even if you turn off the water elsewhere. According to NFPA requirements fire sprinkler system needs to stay at least 40 degrees to ensure it doesn’t risk any freezing anywhere in the line. Otherwise, you could be set for pricey repairs.
Depending on what type of sprinkler system you have, you might need to replace or top up anti-freeze. Sometimes there are solutions included in the water to make sure that they don’t get too cold and therefore risk freezing up, either in specific areas or the whole system.
Contractors in Las Vegas may be able to help with the maintenance of these systems and can give an overview and extra peace of mind so you know that the system is not likely to break while you are on your winter vacation.
Obviously, whenever you are going away there are certain things to think about. It is always worth leaving a key with someone you can trust so that they can check on the house. If you’ve made all the precautions you need to then it is very unlikely that anything at all will happen, but it is good for your peace of mind.
Make sure you have your pets looked after, your bills paid and everything ready for your winter vacation so you can relax while you are there and not have to worry about what is going on back at home.