Get Your Summer Home Ready for Winter

Prepare your summer home for winter: Planning now could help you avoid damage next spring!

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I saw the school buses out this morning for the first time this year and had to remind myself no more right turns on red on the way to the office. (Ohio’s school bus stopping laws sounds like a topic for another blog.) High school football started last weekend, so unfortunately the end of summer is quickly approaching. It also means for everybody who has a seasonal home on Lake Erie, or a cabin near Salt Fork State Park, you need to start planning to close your home down to avoid damage next spring. Read more.

Having a checklist of tasks can be helpful. Here are the major areas that need to be addressed, when preparing your summer home for winter:

  • Plumbing: The best protection to stop pipes from freezing should the furnace fail, is to turn off the water at the supply point. Next, clear water lines in the house of water. Toilets, showers and sink traps should be flushed and filled with non-toxic antifreeze.
  • Appliances: Unplug all devices that don’t need to be powered. Drain any appliances that may hold water (refrigerators washing machines and hot water tanks). After unplugging the refrigerator and washing machine, prop the doors open to stop mold growth.
  • Furnace: Turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees. If you are going to turn the furnace off, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for winterizing the unit.
  • Outdoor Work: Check the roof to make sure the flashing and shingles are in good shape. Ensure the exterior siding is secured to the home to avoid water incursion. Cut back any branches that are too close to the home and could cause damage. Secure all outdoor furniture, grills and toys. Disconnect all hoses from the spigots, even if you have turned off the water and have a frost-proof outdoor faucet. Either secure them in a shed if available or stack them, cover them and lock them up to protect them from damage or theft.
  • Indoor Cleaning: Clean the house before closing it up for winter. You will appreciate it next Spring! This will also help prevent mold, mildew and insect and rodent issues. Remove all food items. If leaving non-perishable items, place them in a plastic bin with a lid that latches tightly.

While nobody looks forward to closing up their seasonal home, the memories and good times there outweigh the reasonableness of taking care of the property and not worrying all winter long that you are going to come back to find major damage.

If you have any questions or concerns about insuring your seasonal home or your primary home, call the Trusted Choice Insurance professionals at Richey-Barrett.

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