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Winter vacation checklist – How to prepare your home to be vacant during the winter

Planning on leaving town this winter? Newman Restoration has a few hints to help  make sure your home avoids serious damage while you are away.

 

Do not turn off your heating system or lower the thermostat below 60 – Turning off the heat or setting the thermostat too low can make a home vulnerable to frozen pipes. Newman Restoration recommends keeping the thermostat set above 60 degrees and keeping all areas of the home warm. Water pipes run through the wall cavities, which can be much colder than the interior of the home. If the temperature drops too low, pipes near the exterior of the home become vulnerable. 

 

Consider turning off the water main and draining pipes – If you are planning on being away from your home for an extended period of time, it can be a good idea to turn off the water and drain pipes. If you do not feel comfortable taking these steps, contact a plumber and have them do it for you.

 

Ask a neighbor or family member to stop by and check on the home – It is a good idea to have someone you trust check on the house every few days. They can ensure the heat is on and still working. 

 

Protect your home from intruders – Double check all doors and windows are locked before you leave. Double check dog doors and sliding doors, as these are the doors most often left unlocked. Close the fireplace flue to prevent critters from using the chimney to enter your home.

 

Clean out gutters and remove overhanging branches – Protect your home from storm damage by ensuring gutters are free of debris and can work properly. If possible, remove overhanging branches which can damage a home during a storm. 

 

Tidy up inside – Nobody wants to come home from vacation and find that pests have been snacking on trash or any food left out. Please make sure to clean up before you leave!