Throughout Hampton Roads, the average low winter temperature is in the mid-30’s. Because of this, winterizing a vacant home in Virginia Beach, Norfolk or Chesapeake is a must. There are many important steps that must go into winterizing a vacant home, so it’s vital that you follow them carefully. Missing even one step could lead to severe and expensive damage to the house.
Seal Off Entry Points
Start by making absolutely sure that all entry points to the home are sealed off completely. This includes not only the obvious entry points, such as exterior doors and windows, but less obvious ones as well. For example, your home’s chimney should be completely sealed off if it’s not going to be in use. So should all garage doors and even the smallest cracks or holes that could allow unwanted critters into the home. Don’t forget the dryer vent, either; this is an often overlooked entry point to the home that’s plenty large enough for critters such as raccoons and mice to get in.
Have Pipes Winterized
Perhaps the single most important aspect of winterizing a vacant home is having the plumbing system professionally winterized. This can be done by any experienced and reputable plumber, but it’s something that needs to be done well before the first frost of the season. The reason for winterizing a vacant home’s plumbing system is to ensure that there’s no water in the pipes that could otherwise freeze and cause them to burst, resulting in major and expensive water damage. If a pipe does burst, checkout the Water Damage section of our Resources page.
Clean and/or Repair Gutters
As snow accumulates and melts on your home’s roof this winter, you’ll be relying on the gutters to safely carry away water and other debris in a way that protects the home’s roof and foundation. Unfortunately, if the home’s gutters are clogged or broken, you could end up with serious drainage problems.
This is exactly why taking the time to clean a vacant home’s gutters during the fall months (or paying a roofing company to clean them) is so important, along with making any necessary repairs. Now is also a good time to trim any tree branches that may be hanging above the roof. As snow and ice accumulate on these branches, they will run a greater risk of snapping or breaking and falling onto the roof, causing expensive damage.
Help Home to Appear Occupied
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to make a vacant home appear occupied as much as possible. This will help reduce the risk of vandalism or criminals breaking into the vacant property, causing damage that could be costly. Some good ways to help a vacant home appear occupied during the winter include making sure the driveway and sidewalks on the property are plowed after heavy snow and taking the time to turn lights on and off in the home every once in awhile (if electricity is still on). You could also put the lights on a timer.
Too Much of a Burden?
As you can see, there are lots of steps you need to take when properly winterizing a vacant home. If this sounds like too much for you to hassle, then you might want to consider making things easier on yourself by selling the home to a real estate investor. This way, you can quickly get cash for the home without having to make any repairs, and then the investor can take care of all the costs related to winterizing the house.
If you own a vacant home and are dreading having to winterize it, contact us today. We buy houses in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake. We’ll make you a fast, no-obligation cash offer and take the home off your hands in time for winter’s arrival.