Don't Forget The 5 Essentials When Winterizing Your Vacation Property

Your vacation home is a place to relax and enjoy life. Take care of your investment by making sure to properly winterize the house when it will be vacant over the winter.


Low temperatures can cause any water in your pipes to freeze. This can split and crack your pipes and cause major water damage when the ice begins to thaw in the spring.

  • Shut off the water where it comes into your house.
  • Open all faucets and use an air compressor to blow any remaining water from the lines.
  • Empty your water heater.  
  • Drain any additional water sources like refrigerators, toilets, pools or fountains.
  • Pour RV antifreeze in each drain including toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines. Make sure to close sink drains and toilet lids to prevent the antifreeze from evaporating.
  • Remove water filters from your refrigerator or any water filtration systems.


  • Lower your thermostat to 50 degrees. This temperature is low enough to keep your energy bill down, while preventing your pipes from freezing or condensation from accumulating on your furnace.

·         Unplug your appliances to reduce the risk of fire. This will also save you money by reducing unnecessary energy consumption.


  • Empty and thoroughly clean your refrigerator and freezer. Leave the doors open to keep mold and bacteria from growing inside.
  • Remove all food from the pantry. If you must keep food there, make sure it is stored in cans or airtight containers.


  • Thoroughly clean the entire house. Make sure all dishes are washed, and all surfaces have been wiped down to keeps pests away.
  • Remove all trash from inside and outside the house. Even a small bag of trash in an outside bin can attract bugs and small animals who may make a mess and damage your home.


  • Clean up and organize your yard. Keep stacked wood away from the house to keep pests away.
  • Arrange for someone to water your plants and cut the grass. Many communities and municipalities have rules concerning overgrown lawns. Neglecting to care for yours could earn you some hefty fines.

Winterizing your home can be very time consuming and difficult for someone who is unfamiliar with the process. Many homeowners choose hire a property management company to oversee the preparations and continued maintenance of their vacation property.

This is often a smart choice because it allows the owners to return home while the property manager has the house winterized. Property managers also will manage lawn maintenance and visit the house periodically to proactively handle issues before they become major problems.