Winterizing Your Home 101: A Brisk Checklist When Going Out of Town for Extended Periods

Ensure the safety of your home when you take a leave of absence, whether for work or holiday. Winterizing your home is a necessary step.

January 6, 2022

Temperatures are dropping, snow has fallen, and it’s officially winter! Don’t get us wrong, the thought of a white Christmas sounds lovely, but when the holiday season is over, the freezing temperatures are rough. If you feel the same way and choose to head to your vacation home for the winter season, we don’t blame you. 

If you split time between two homes, it’s crucial that you winterize your home before leaving it unattended until spring. To ensure that your home will be fully functional with all the correct bells and whistles, then bust out a little elbow grease—or call us—before you pack your bags. 

This or That 

Are you considering whether to hire a professional or to do it yourself? While there isn’t a definite right or wrong answer, consider taking the hybrid approach by doing a few to-dos while you wait on a Shipshape professional. 

For the DIY projects—most will include cleaning your homes, turning off the water, adjusting the thermostat, setting the alarm, and more. To do those tasks takes little to no effort on your end. However, some minor checks may seem tedious or more complicated. To alleviate the headache, hire a professional. 

Consider calling us to have your sump pump, HVAC unit, and more inspected or upgraded before you go away for the winter. While you don’t need to hire a professional, it does give you better peace of mind knowing that your home will be safe and remain intact. 

Making A List, Checking it Twice  

As aforementioned, before the professional gives your home the final walkthrough, consider reviewing a checklist to ensure that your home is in full “snowbird” mode. While this doesn’t include everything, here is a good place to start: 

#1: Pipe Insulation 

It’s a known truth that nothing is worse than discovering that a pipe has burst in or underneath your home. Start by checking your piping system to ensure that everything will stay intact. Adjust the hoses, faucets, and sprinkler systems in your home, as well as shut off the water supply. You don’t want them to freeze during the cold winter nights. 

#2: Heating Check 

Make sure that your home’s heating system is working properly. Why? Well, the furnace is the common denominator between your home’s properly working pipes, HVAC unit, water heater. 

#3: Hold Your Mail

Alright, call us old-fashioned. We know that receiving mail is less common nowadays with email and electronic banking, but postal workers still deliver every day. So, hold your mail for 30 days. Just visit USPS online, and they will help set up any mail forwarding service to receive any big announcements or checks to your seasonal residence. 

#4: The Fridge Wipedown 

This one may be the most simple: clean your fridge and get rid of it all! Eliminate any perishable items in your fridge to prevent mold while you’re away.

#5: Phone a Friend 

If you feel comfortable, perhaps share with your neighbor (only if they’re trusted) that you’re migrating to your second home during the winter. This way, they can check on your home from time to time to make sure everything looks okay. 

Contact Us

Like we mentioned, this list is full of things you can do on your own. But if you want us to double-check anything for you, contact us. We would be happy to help! 


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