In South Carolina, we are lucky to have the ocean and many beautiful lakes to visit. Whether you have a vacation home at Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head, or in the upstate at Lake Bowen or Lake Keowee, you need to take appropriate steps to winterize the seasonal home during the cooler months.
If you close your second home out of season, you need to prepare the home for winter months since you won’t be there should something go wrong. To protect your vacation home from low temperatures, snow, ice and wind, use the checklist below to ensure your home is safe and will be ready for you to visit come spring!
- Have the heating unit inspected and serviced. Ensure the heater won’t breakdown mid-winter with a tune up.
- Have the chimney inspected and cleaned.
- Bring everything inside. Winter isn’t only hard on the home itself. It can be hard on your outdoor furniture, tools and bicycles. So store your outdoor belongings inside your home, garage or shed.
- Clean the gutters. It’s not a fun or glamorous task, but cleaning the home’s rain gutters ensures that the rain and snowmelt run freely away from the home. Try to visit the home again at the end of autumn to remove all leaf debris from the gutters.
- Inspect the roof and attic space. A small damage in the roof can turn into a major roof leak. Seal any gaps in the attic.
- Remove dead trees and overhanging limbs that could fall on the house or other structures. Heavy snow can cause even healthy limbs to break off and damage your home.
- Turn off utilities and water. Unplug nonessential appliances that lightning or power surges might damage. Turn off gas at the main connection or put a hold on gas service until you return. Turn off circuits you don’t need at the breaker box. Turn off water and drain all the water pipes. First turn off the home’s main water valve and then open all the faucets in the home to allow the pipes to drain. Disconnect and drain hoses at your outdoor spickets. Doing all this work will help minimize the risk of a flood if your water heater bursts.
- Clean, clean, clean. Thoroughly clean the entire home. Clean the washer and dryer and leave the doors open. Clean and defrost the fridge and freezer and leave the doors open (after unplugging). Cover furniture with drop cloths to minimize dust collecting. Toss all perishable food and store non-perishables in air tight containers.
Make sure your seasonal home is insured so if an accident happens when you’re away, you are taken care of. Click here to get a homeowners quote.