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Preparing Your Second Home for Winter

Lake House in Winter

It's October, which means snow isn't far off in New England. With the impending weather, it's time to start thinking about preparing your second home for the winter, when you will most likely not be visiting. Below are our tips to prepare your home until things start to warm up again.

Prevent Your Home From Appearing Unoccupied

For those leaving for long periods, make sure to take the proper steps to prevent your home from looking empty. Invest in motion-sensitive lighting and put exterior and interior lights on timers. Forward your mail to your new address or have a friend or family member pick up your mail. Also, make sure to arrange for someone to shovel your driveway after storms.

Turn Off Your Water Supply

If pipe bursts or leaks while you’re away, it could cause significant damage to your home. To avoid this consider completely turning off your water supply while you are away. After shutting off your water supply make sure to drain your pipes of all water by opening the faucets, and flush your toilets to clear the water from the tank and bowl. 

Perform Routine Maintenance

Be sure to have your heating system inspected and serviced by a licensed professional before the cold weather hits and have someone who can come and check on your heat and fuel levels regularly while you are gone. Make sure to repair or replace anything around the house that may be defective, like your electrical panel, wiring, and outlets. Inspect your roof and clean out your gutters to prevent ice build-up. Clean, defrost and unplug your refrigerators and freezers, wiping them dry and leaving doors propped open to prevent mildew. Inspect your home for openings that animals could use to enter. Lastly, unplug all unnecessary appliances like your microwave. 

Protect Your Home from Thieves

The last thing you want to worry about is someone breaking into your home and stealing your possessions. To put your mind at ease confirm that your alarm systems are working and activated. Go around your house and lock all your doors and windows with deadbolts. Any valuables you are not taking with you store in a safe or other secure location. 

Be Ready for Emergencies

In case of an emergency ask a trusted friend or family member to keep an eye on your home and who can help in emergencies. They should regularly monitor your heating, electrical and water systems.
 

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