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How to Winterize Your Home

5 minutes read Nov 10,2022
How to Winterize Your Home

Knowing how to winterize your home is vital to protecting your investment. This is true whether you're a snowbird leaving your primary residence to escape during the cold winter months or closing up your summer vacation home for the season.

You can hire a contractor to do the work for you or save more and do the work yourself using our helpful tips to winterize your home. Either way, it's important to make sure your place is ready for those cold winter months.

toss out old food when winterizing your home
Toss the Food

One of the first things owners should do when closing up their home for the year is to empty and clean all their appliances. Remove any remaining food from the refrigerator and freezer before disinfecting and wiping them clean.

Placing chopsticks between the doors of the refrigerator and freezer is another great idea. This leaves them open enough to allow air to flow through, which helps prevent mildew. 

You should also make sure all appliances and electronics, such as the microwave, washer and dryer, clocks, radios, and lights are unplugged or disconnected before leaving your home. 

shut down the water system while winterizing your home
Turn Off the Water

Water damage is very expensive, so make sure you shut down the water system to prevent pipes from bursting. Start by shutting off the main valve, which is usually a single "handle" that you turn. If you're unsure where it is or how to shut the water off, it's best to call a professional.

Next, you'll open all the faucets and allow the water to drain from your pipes after you shut off the main valve. This is important because there could be water remaining in your pipes that can freeze in cold weather and cause them to burst.

use plastic sheets to protect your furniture
Protect Your Furniture

Dust happens. But you can minimize it by putting plastic sheets on all the mattresses. It's also a good idea to protect the rest of your furniture by using plastic sheets to cover any chairs or sofas. 

Some homeowners choose to place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers, on furniture, and in closets to help prevent mice from settling in for the winter.  

winterize the outdoor space of your home
Don't Forget Your Outdoor Space

Your outside space is just as important as the interior. When winterizing your home for the season, owners should move any outdoor furniture inside. You should also ensure all items like canoes and kayaks are stacked together and locked.

If you have a propane barbeque grill, make sure to disconnect the propane tank and store both in a protected place.  

winterize your golf carts
Winterizing and Storing Golf Carts

Since you won't be using your golf cart during the winter, you'll want to go through the process of winterizing that as well. We've provided some simple step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Before you move forward with the winterization process, make sure you have your golf cart parked wherever it will be stored. A cool, dry area is best and will reduce discharging of the batteries for your golf cart.
  2. If you have a gas-powered golf cart, replace the fuel, oil, and air filters. You'll also want to change the oil, check the spark plug and replace if needed, plus check and top off all fluids.
  3. Batteries should be fully charged during long storage periods, so ensure you get a full charge on all your batteries. 
  4. Clean off any corrosion around the battery terminals. Top battery terminals with a mixture of baking soda and water, then rinse gently to avoid splashing any acid around. Let the terminals dry and coat them with battery terminal spray.
  5. Adjust tire pressure according to the requirements of your specific tires.
  6. Grease suspension parts and complete all yearly lubrication.
  7. Give the body, seats, battery compartment, and underside of golf cart a good cleaning to remove dirt and debris.
  8. Leave the parking brake off. Place tire blocks around to prevent the cart from moving. We would advise to install steering wheel lock clubs as well as wheel lock clubs to ensure your golf cart is securely stored during the off season.
  9. If you don't have a shed or off-site winter storage to store your golf cart, consider using a weatherproof tarp and tie-downs to protect it from the winter elements.
  10. Lastly, if you are not keeping your golf cart in storage, be sure to use thick heavy-duty chains and locks to secure it during the off season.

After having a great summer, the best way to ensure that the fun continues next year is to prepare your home or vacation home so that's it ready for you in the spring. We hope our guide on how to winterize your home helps make the process even easier.