Winterization Checklist (And More!) For Your Vacation Home

vacation home winterization

Just because you’ve closed up your vacation home for the season doesn’t mean you should forget about it until the spring! A lot can go wrong during the winter months, or in general, if you leave your home for an extended period of time. 

Winterizing your home is the best way to prevent damage from burst pipes and other problems during the cold weather months. Frozen pipes are common when the temperature drops below freezing and you don’t have enough heat in the house to combat the cold air. 

And, if your pipes freeze over when there’s no one to address it, you could be in for big, expensive trouble. We’re talking bad enough to have your house condemned. 

Think we’re exaggerating? Check out this photo that one of our techs at Broadley’s took:

Winterization Checklist (And More!) For Your Vacation Home

This house was right here in Ocean City, NJ. The owners didn’t have the heat on to keep the the pipes from freezing. Eventually, enough water backed up behind the ice for the pipe to burst. 

Once that happened, dozens of gallons or water poured into the home every minute. And, with no one to turn off the water main, it just kept coming. 

The entire first floor filled with water, and the pressure brok with windows. Then the air was cold enough for all that water to freeze over. 

By the time we arrived, there was nothing we or anyone else could do. When all was said and done, they had to knock down the house and start over. 

Fortunately, a problem this catastrophic is rare. And easily avoidable. 

In this article, we’ll share our five-point checklist for winterizing homes. It’s a service we’ve offered to homeowners, landlords, and businesses in Cape May and Atlantic Counties for decades.

So while it’s a good idea to shut off the water main and keep your heat going, that’s just the start. WIth a quick visit from Broadley’s, you’ll be sure your home is safe all winter. 

If you have any questions, or want a professional to winterize your home in Cape May or Atlantic County give us a call here at Broadley’s! We’ve served homes and business owners from Avalon, NJ and Marmora down through Cape May for more than a century. Click below or call us at (609) 390-3907.

Contact Us About Winterizing Your Home

Winterization Checklist For Vacation Homes 

Here’s the winterization checklist Broadley’s uses for South Jersey homes: 

  1. Shut Off The Water 
  2. Blow Out Drain Lines
  3. Add Antifreeze To Plumbing
  4. Disconnect All Hoses
  5. Install Hose Bib Covers

Shut Off The Water

The first thing we do is turn off the water coming into your home from the main. This prevents two problems: burst pipes and water damage from leaks. 

If, for some reason, your pipes do freeze over, it’s not nearly as big of a problem when there’s no water flowing into them. That way, there’s nothing to freeze and build pressure. 

Meanwhile, you also reduce the risk of a leak causing damage. 

Leak Damage Can Start Small But Turn Into A Big Problem

If you’re home, you’ll notice a small leak sooner or later. But, if no one’s in the house for months at a time, even a slow drip can get much worse over time.

With no water supply, there’s nothing in the pipes that could freeze. It also prevents flooding if there’s a rupture in a pipe, hose, or appliance somewhere.

Blow Out Drain Lines

Turning off the water is just the first step. Even if you stop more water from coming in, there’s still dozens of gallons of water in your home. 

So,.we blow out all the drain lines and bleed all the pipes. Not only is there no more water coming into the house. There’s no water collecting anywhere that can freeze. 

Read More: Five Plumbing Problems Costing You Money

Add Antifreeze To Plumbing

The final step to protecting your pipes is adding non-toxic antifreeze to sinks, dishwashers, showers, toilets, and drains. 

This process prevents pipes and porcelain fixtures from freezing and cracking over the winter. Even after blowing out the drains and bleeding the pipes, there’s still a little bit of moisture left over. 

The antifreeze solution makes sure it doesn’t cause any damage. 

Disconnect Hoses

Disconnect Your Hoses So They Don’t Freeze Up

Outside, our goal is still the same: Make sure no water gets into the house. And, help keep the house warm even when no one’s there. 

That’s why we disconnect all the hoses. Any water or moisture left in there won’t make an impact. And, the process also protects the house itself. 

THere’s less excess wear and tear on or under the siding. And, you won’t get cracks in brickwork from water from building up and freezing over. 

Install Hose Bib Covers

FInally, we install a bib cover over the opening where you attach a hose to the spigot outside your house. The cover keeps the line warm and dry through the cold weather. 

Make sure to install one over every outdoor faucet and fixture. 

Smart Thermostats For Vacation Homes

A Wifi Thermostat Allows You To Control Your Home Temperature Remotely
A Smart Thermostat Is Accessible From Your Phone And Perfect For Vacation Homes

Now that your home is ready for winter, you want to make sure everything stays that way. And, when you’re not there, you need a way to monitor things. 

That’s where a smart thermostat comes in.

These newer devices do much more than regulate the temperature in your house. You can also connect them to any of your smart devices and get updates any time, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. 

This feature is especially useful if there’s a sudden cold snap or warm spell, and you need to change the temperature. But even more important is getting an alert if something goes wrong. 

A broken window or heater problem causes a sudden change in temperature or a spike in energy usage. When this happens, the thermostat sends you an alert. 

And, if you already have a service contract with Broadley’s, you can leave a set of keys with us so we can swing by and check out the property right away.

Wifi Thermostats From Broadley’s

Winterization And Heater Tune-Ups In Ocean City, NJ

Getting a heater tune-up for the winter is essential for every home. And, for a vacation home, it’s added peace of mind for the winter — and lower energy bills as well! 

With a tune-up, we look over your heating system for any problems. We clean it out, lubricate all the moving parts, and replace any worn or broken components.

You significantly reduce the risk of a breakdown once your heater is working its hardest. And, you’ll pay less for gas or electricity when everything’s running efficiently. 

Once your home in Ocean City, NJ (or anywhere in Cape May or Atlantic County) is winterized and your heater’s tuned up and connected to a smart thermostat, everything’s set till next spring. 

And, if you do get an alert that something’s up, give Broadley’s a call! We’ll get over there right away and fix any problems.

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