Now that the holiday season is over, you may be traveling back to your primary residence until the next long weekend rolls around. But before you bid farewell to your favorite home away from home, it’s a good idea to prep it for winter weather.
Even though the climate at SML is temperate, we aren’t immune to periodic cold fronts. When the thermostat dips below freezing, the water that’s in your pipes will harden and expand into ice. Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve, open up your faucets, and drain your toilets before the weather turns frightful and reduce your chances of a flooded basement. Also, adjust your thermostat to around 55 degrees. This will keep your home warm enough so that your pipes don’t freeze.
Give your home a thorough cleaning, and don’t forget your refrigerator. Unless you’re hiring a house-sitter, it’s best to empty the contents completely and unplug it. Just remember to keep the doors open to combat against mold and mildew. Put all of your perishable food (including pet food) in airtight containers, take off the trash, and bring your house-plants with you.
Let your neighbors know when you’ll be leaving, and when you plan on returning. And if you schedule contractors, landscapers, or any other home maintenance professionals, let them know so they don’t assume you’re being robbed. Speaking of which, make sure you arm your security system, and don’t forget to lock your windows.
Making sure that your home is winterized may seem like a list of tedious chores, but when you head back to Smith Mountain Lake for the summer, you’ll spend less time doing maintenance and more time enjoying the lake life.
Source: “How Can I Winterize My Vacant Home?”, AngiesList.com.