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Tips for Getting Vacant Homes Ready for Winter

Houses that will sit empty through the winter need attention to avoid frozen pipes, along with other types of winter damage. Though some homeowners may have ordered in some more Virginia propane or contacted a heating oil supplier in their local area, to make sure these houses have a good supply through the colder months. There are other things that potentially could be done to lessen the impact of the cold on vacant homes during winter.

The company offers these tips for ensuring that pipes don’t burst:

  1. Search for pipes that are not insulated or that pass through unheated spaces such as crawl spaces, basements, or garages. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. If need be, call for a professional from firms similar to Flow Pros who can identify any leaks in the pipe and give you advice regarding protecting them.

  2. Wrap really vulnerable pipes with electric heating tape with a built-in thermostat that only turns heat on when needed.

  3. If you notice burst pipes or flooding from it, you can immediately get in touch with a Water and Flood Restoration Company in your vicinity.

  4. Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking to keep the cold wind from pipes. Look for areas where cable TV or phone lines enter the house to make sure holes are tightly sealed.

  5. If hot-water radiators heat the home, bleed the valves by opening them slightly. Close them when water appears.

  6. Before really cold weather sets in, make certain that the water to outdoor hose bibs is shut off inside the house and the lines are drained.

  7. Drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes.

  8. Wrap the water heater or turn it off.

  9. Make sure gutters and downspouts have been cleaned to remove debris that could freeze and cause clogs during cold weather. And while you are at it, schedule a roof inspection from professional companies like Best Choice Roofing (, who can fix any roof related issues that you might have.

  10. Know where the main water shut-off valve is located in case it needs to be shut off during an emergency.

Source: Long Island American Water (11/16/2010)

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