November 28, 2017

Winterizing Your Home Before a Vacation


Are you a snowbird heading out of town for months at a time? Maybe you’re just taking your family on vacation for a couple weeks to beat the winter blues. In either case, your entire household will leave, and your home will be left behind.

A home with no lights and no activity is a target for thieves.

Damage to empty homes from a leak or power surge can go unnoticed for weeks.

Keep your home safe while you’re away this winter by preparing ahead of time. So, before you lock the door, give your home a WASH! Look at Water, check Appliances, make it Secure, and Heat it correctly.


  • Turn off water at the meter
  • Open all faucets and drain all water lines. If your area is prone to freezing temperatures, drain the toilet and water heater too.
  • If your area allows, pour RV type antifreeze in drain traps.
  • Remove/empty whole hose water filters.
  • Use an air compressor to remove any residual water in pipes.
  • Follow manufacturers instructions to winterize refrigerator/ice maker/water dispenser.
  • Consult a plumber for winterizing well pressure tanks, water softeners, acid neutralizers, etc.
  • If you will be gone for an extended time, cover toilet bowl with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation of toilet trap and entrance of sewer gases.


  • Unplug appliances to prevent damage from power surges.
  • Empty and clean refrigerator, leave door ajar.
  • Disconnect and drain hoses for washing machine.


  • Lock all doors and windows, use storm shutters if equipped.
  • Leave contact information with your neighbours or a friend.
  • Consider maintaining exterior security lighting on timers.


  • If you heat your home while away, adjust to maintain the temperature above 50°F (10°C) to prevent mold and mildew on furnishings from condensation. Consider purchasing a temperature-monitoring system.
  • Have heating contractor winterize the system, if turned off.
  • Lower temperature setting on gas water heater or switch to vacation mode.
  • Drain whole house humidifier.

Leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time increases the chances of property damage or theft. Take proactive steps to winterizing your home when your household is out of town and you can vacation peacefully knowing your home is as safe as can be.



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