Taking a Winter Vacation? Damage-Proof Your House First

vacation home preparationHeading out on a vacation can be a lot of fun. It's often even more enjoyable when it's cold outside and you're taking a break to go somewhere warm for a few days. If you're going to leave your house unattended in the winter, though, you want to make sure you damage-proof it as much as possible. It's not any fun returning to a leaky roof or broken pipes because of severe winter weather while you were away. To make sure your house is protected, consider doing a few things before you leave. You can prevent frozen pipes by shutting off the water and draining the pipes. With no water in them, they're not going to freeze, swell, and potentially break open. If you'd rather not do that, you can leave your home's heat up a little bit more than you had planned to, instead of turning it down all the way while you're gone. That can keep your pipes from getting too cold, and the peace of mind will be well worth the few extra dollars it will add to your electric bill. Pipes that are close to exterior walls should be insulated, so they don't freeze. That's also true of pipes that are up in the attic or located in the crawl space under the house. If you're concerned that insulation isn't enough or you want another alternative, heat tape or a heat able that's controlled by a thermostat can keep the water in your pipes from freezing while you're not home. Another great way to help protect your home from winter weather damage when you're away is to disconnect your garden hoses, and shut off and drain the pipes that lead to your outside faucets. Most of the problems people come home to when they've been away in the winter come from pipes that have frozen and burst. The less risk you have of that, the less worry you'll have on your vacation. Another common danger is ice dams, which can develop on the roof and cause it to start leaking. If you want to avoid ice dams during your vacation, making sure your attic is well insulated and properly vented can help. You can also consider applying a heated cable to the edge of the roof, making sure the gutters are clean, and sealing up any cracks or holes that allow warm air from your home to make its way into the attic. Ideally, you'll have someone you trust check on your house periodically while you're away, especially if there's a bad storm that could cause unexpected issues. If you don't have someone who can do that for you, though, the more winter prep you do before leaving on vacation the better off your home will be while you're gone. Then you can have a vacation where you're not spending all your time concerned about your house, so you can relax and enjoy some warm weather in the middle of a chilly winter. Save $25 on Air Duct Cleaning - Free Coupon
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