Winterizing Your Vacation Home: How To Prevent Plumbing Disasters

Winterizing your vacation home is essential to preventing plumbing disasters. Even if your home is in a somewhat temperate climate with mild winters, a sudden freeze can leave you with frozen or burst pipes if the home hasn't been prepared for winter. Follow these steps to protect your home from winter water damage, and be sure to consult your local plumbing service for help with any issues you can't resolve before it's time to head home for the winter.

Drain Your Water System

While it may sound logical to simply turn off the water supply to your home, this won't prevent frozen or burst pipes. Whenever there is even a small amount of water left in the plumbing, it can freeze. To accomplish this on your own, you'll need to shut off the water supply, drain the pressure tank, and then turn on all the faucets in the home to drain any water that is still in the system. You'll also need to remove all the water from the toilet tanks in addition to flushing all the toilets. If this all sounds like a lot of work to handle while you are packing and preparing to leave town, consider calling your plumber to handle all of the details after you've left. Hiring a plumber also means that you won't have to stay in the house without a working toilet. Be sure to call your plumber to restore water and bring everything back to working condition before the start of the summer.

Leave The Heat On

Some homeowners make the mistake of turning the heat off after they have shut off the water and drained the plumbing system. This can lead to unexpected water damage in the home. Even with a properly drained water system, moisture can still be trapped in your home. Freezing snow and ice can build up over time, allowing moisture to seep into your home. Keeping the heat on can prevent condensation on your walls that can turn into mold or mildew if left unchecked. If you have a gas heating system, consider having your plumbing contractor inspect your gas lines for leaks before winter starts to provide added peace of mind.

Inspect Your Downspouts

Since you won't be around the home to notice water entering the basement area, it's important to do a final check of your downspouts before you head to your winter home. Make sure that each downspout is pointed away from your home. Downspouts that point toward your home can cause flooding as snow and rain begins to melt. Make sure that the downspouts are unobstructed and that your gutters are cleaned to keep water flowing properly to prevent flooding.

Your plumbing services can help you with every aspect of preparing your vacation home's water and drainage system for the winter. Talk to your plumber (like Bobby Jones Plumbing) about inspections and other services you can use to keep your home safe from water damage during the cold winter months.