Are you trying to sell a vacant home in Pennsylvania? Every year we deal with sellers who forget to or fail to winterize their homes properly – and the damage that ensues can be extensive. Sometimes the heat is even on in a vacant home, but someone leaves a window cracked open near a pipe or a buyer’s agent turns down the heat, or the system just plain fails.
The following are some things you can do to help protect your vacant home.
- Ask a trusted neighbor or relative to regularly check on your home, and remove yers and other items that may have been left at your door.
- Arrange for someone to clear snow from your driveway and walkways.
- Turn on your alarm systems and motion-activated lights and set interior lights on timers.
- Install deadbolt locks, security-type hinges and sturdy door frames that cannot be spread apart. Invest in slide locks or other equivalent security locks for sliding glass doors or French doors.
- If you are not heating your home while you are away, turn o the home’s water supply and drain pipes completely. Add non-toxic antifreeze rated for plumbing systems to toilet tanks and bowls.
- If the heat will be kept on in your home, turn o the water supply (after verifying with your boiler servicing professional that it is safe to do so for your particular heating system), shut off water to dishwashers and clothes washers, and maintain heat in your home.
- Set the temperature to a minimum of 55 F, and leave the furnace running to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Perform routine maintenance, including scheduling heating system, roof and chimney inspections and cleaning your gutters.
- Remove dead trees and large, overhanging limbs.
- Unplug all appliances and phones.
- Clean the home thoroughly, check for potential openings, and remove food to discourage pests.
- Arrange for a trusted relative, neighbor or friend to be available and have access to your house in case of emergency.