So, you spent the holidays at a short-term rental property and now it’s time to return home. Winter is done, spring is on its way, and you want to ensure that your house is ready for the new season. Since you winterized your house before you left, you’ll return to a house that you need to de-winterize. If you don’t know where to start, you’re in luck as this article will tackle the tasks you need to do to get your house ready for springtime.
What does it mean to ‘winterize’ a home?
You should always winterize your house whenever you’re leaving it vacant for an extended period, for example, over Christmas vacation. If you don’t, you’ll return to a house that has to be repaired due to the water damage resulting from the leaks and cracks in the pipes.
So, what is winterizing, anyway? To winterize a house is to prepare it for wintry weather. Homeowners that are planning on going away for the holidays do it so that they don’t come home to a completely damaged home. Ideally, you should winterize your house at the end of fall.
How do you winterize a home?
Make sure to add winterization to your fall maintenance checklist. If you’re not an expert on winterization, here are a few examples of what you need to do:
- Cleaning the gutters
- Shutting off the water
- Unplugging appliances
- Installing a smart thermostat
- Draining the garden hose
- Draining the heater
- Caulking cracks
- Trimming the trees
- Repairing the roof
Do you have a boat?
If you have a boat, you’ll have to winterize it, too. If you fail to winterize it, its components will freeze and it’ll need to be rebuilt. Before your boat goes into storage for the holidays, conduct boat maintenance to get it ready for the freezing weather.
Why do you need to de-winterize?
By the time you return home, your house will have been vacant for months. It’s crucial to take the necessary steps to make sure that everything is in good working order. You can’t, say, drink water from the tap the moment you return as the pipes were likely winterized with antifreeze. In addition, if you hired a professional property management firm to winterize your car, you’d need to hire the same people to de-winterize it. This is because your car probably lost a lot of tire pressure while you were on holiday. By de-winterizing, you “reset” your house so that it’s safe to use for spring.
How can homeowners de-winterize a home?
De-winterizing involves reversing what you did when you winterized your house. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how owners can de-winterize their homes:
#1 Turn on the electrical circuits
Homeowners tend to shut off the power if they’re leaving their houses vacant. Chances are, you’ve shut everything, save for certain electrical circuits such as the circuit for outdoor lighting. When you return home, make sure to turn on the circuit breakers that were turned off for the holidays. You won’t be able to proceed to the succeeding steps if you skip turning the circuits breakers back on.
#2 Reconnect the water pipes
Winterizing involves disconnecting the water supply pipes from toilets, showers, and appliances that use water, such as the washing machine and dishwasher. If you did this, you’ll need to reconnect the supply pipes one by one. It’s best to approach this by room so you don’t forget a thing. You’ll probably need a wrench to reattach the tubes. Ensure that the water shut-off valve is in the “off” position.
#3 Turn on the water supply line
When the tubes and pipes have been reconnected, you can turn on the water valve slowly. Doing it slowly allows the air that was trapped inside the pipes to escape. Stop when the water valve is halfway open. Also, if you left the faucets in the “on” position, make sure they’re in the “off” position before turning the water back on.
#4 Turn on the water valve on the water heater
If you turned off the water heater, water softener, etc. before you left, you’ll have to turn their individual water supply on. These appliances usually have a valve by the tubes and pipes. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to refill these — you probably need to open the escape valve to remove the trapped air first.
#5 Check the plumbing systems
Now that the water valve is on, inspect every plumbing system in the house. First, open each faucet to ensure that water is flowing as it should. When you open the faucet, the first flow will probably be loud because it’s allowing the trapped air to escape. You can close the faucet when the water starts to flow steadily. Then, flush the toilets to check if they’re working well. Don’t forget to inspect the dishwasher, water filters, freezer, and other items that were winterized.
#6 Turn on the gas valve
Turning off the gas valve is a critical step before you leave for Christmas vacation. You do not want to risk a gas leak while you’re away. Turn the gas supply when you get home so you can use your heating systems.
#7 Plug in the appliances
It’s ‘standard procedure’ to unplug the appliances when you’re going away. When the electrical circuits are turned on, you can now plug in your appliances, like your coffee maker, microwave, and oven, into their respective outlets.
#8 Reprogram the thermostat
If you installed a smart thermostat, chances are that you changed its settings when you were away for winter. Reprogram the thermostat to ensure that its settings, especially the temperature, suit your needs now that you’re home for most of the day.
Need help winterizing and de-winterizing your house?
Through winterization and de-winterization, you can make sure that your house isn’t at risk of water damage when you’re away for the holidays. To properly prepare your house for the wintry weather, call the expert property managers at Luxury Property Care. Not only will we make sure your house is winterized, but we’ll also keep an eye on your house while you’re away. We’ll also de-winterize prior to your arrival so you can return to a warm and cozy home.