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It's almost time for you snowbirds to fly south for the winter. Before you go, you must winterize your summer home for colder weather and protected against freezing temperatures, snow and ice. Winterizing your summer home for cold weather requires a bit of work, but this do-it-yourself project can be completed in a weekend. You may need a hand from a professional to clear water from all the pipes and to shut off propane or natural gas. Plus you may want to hire an exterminator, a landscaper or a homesitter to help you take care of things while you're away. The best time for winterization is two or three days before you leave. Take care of gutter and downspout cleaning, HVAC unit winterization and outdoor faucet insulation first. Leave water main and power shutoff for after you cook one meal for the road and take your last shower. The following is a list of ten things you should consider when winterizing your vacation home?
- Wrap pipes under sinks, in the basement and anywhere else around your home with fibreglass, foam-and-foil, foam or rubber pipe insulation. This not only conserves energy to save money, it also protects against freezing temperatures. Here's a how-to video.
- Clean, protect and shut off power to appliances, including fridges, washers, dryers, dishwashers and ACs. Remember to shut off water to these appliances. Frost King shows you how to winterize your outdoor air conditioner. Don't forget pipe insulation and covers.
- Use a gutter scoop to remove debris from gutters and downspouts. Install downspout guards, downspout screens, snap-in gutter screens and mesh gutter guards to prevent water damage from ice dams and puddles on the roof and around the foundation.
- If you have a central air conditioner, follow these steps to winterize the HVAC unit. Don't forget to use a Frost King air conditioner cover and pipe insulation for the best protection.
- Turn off water at the main line to safeguard against water leaks and indoor flooding.
- If you're going to be away during winter, you may want to hire a professional plumber to drain your hot water heater, to clear pipes of water, and to shut off propane or natural gas. Be sure to use tubular foam and rubber pipe insulation to protect against freezing temps.
- Drain all outside hoses. Roll them up and store them. Cover all outdoor faucets with foam or hard plastic covers. Foam covers keep outdoor faucets from freezing during winter. Hard plastic covers provide added protection against wind and even small, curious animals.
- Disconnect outdoor appliances, such as fountains, bug zappers and even satellite dishes. Secure them with covers or plastic. Or store them indoors to protect against cold weather.
- Store outdoor furniture, raised garden beds, plant pots, grills, tools and other outdoor items inside. If that isn't possible, cover with plastic and secure them in a wind-free location.
- Schedule an exterminator to continue pest inspections and pest control, if required.
Be sure to check back with the Frost King blog for tips on how to take good care of your home. For more timely advice, bookmark this blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Frost King has everything you need to winterize your vacation home before you leave. Find our products at these home improvement retailers. If you have questions about installing and using any of our DIY home winterization products, view our FAQs, call 1-800-299-5700 or contact us.