How To De-Winterize Your Home
If you leave your house vacated for an extended period, it’s important to make sure that the home is winterized. A winterized house stays protected during the colder months while you aren’t there to take care of it.
But what happens when you’re ready to start using that home again? Well, now you have to take the time to de-winterize your home, so it’s ready for daily use. This article will outline the steps you can take to ensure you have a properly de-winterized house.
What Does De-Winterizing A Home Mean?
If you’ve ever had to leave your home vacated during the colder months, then you may be familiar with the process of winterizing your home. Winterizing a home means you take specific steps to protect your home, so it’s able to withstand colder temperatures.
Winterizing a house usually includes things like preparing the plumbing system so your pipes don’t freeze, unplugging your appliances and forwarding your mail. If you leave your home vacant without winterizing it first, you could end up with plumbing issues, a broken water heart, and other expensive problems when you return.
Once you’re ready to start actively using the home again, you’ll need to de-winterize it. This means you’ll need to take another set of steps to ensure that the house is ready to be lived in again. We will walk through those steps with you here:
8 Steps To De-Winterizing A Home
If you need to de-winterize your home, you can either hire a professional service or do the heavy lifting yourself. It’s entirely possible to de-winterize a house on your own by taking the following eight steps.
1. Turn Your Electricity Back On
You most likely turned off the electricity when you winterized your home the first time. After all, the house wasn’t in use, and this saved you from racking up a monthly bill for no reason.
But now that you’re going to be living in your home again, you’ll need to turn the electricity back on. You can do this by going to the main service panel and turning on any circuit breakers that were previously turned off.
2. Re-Connect All Water Supply Tubes
Protecting your plumbing is a crucial part of winterizing a house. This often involves removing the valves and tubes from your plumbing appliances. So before you can turn the water back on, you’ll need to re-connect all of these tubes.
Make sure you take your time with this step, so you don’t miss anything. You can check all of the sinks, toilets, bathtubs and showers in your home and make sure the tubes are securely reattached.
3. Turn Your Water Supply Back On
Once you’re confident that all of the tubes are reattached to the plumbing appliances, you’re ready to turn the water back on. You’ll start by locating the main water valve and turning it back on. Don’t be surprised if your faucets and pipes make a lot of noise at first.
4. Turn The Water Heater And Boiler Back On
While you were gone, you likely turned off major appliances like the water heater and boiler. Now you’ll need to turn them back on, one at a time. You should follow your manufacturer’s guidelines so you can make sure you’re doing this correctly.
5. Turn The Plumbing Fixtures Back On
Now that you’ve got the water supply back on, it’s time to turn the plumbing fixtures on as well. Turn on each of the major fixtures one at a time and check each one to see that it’s working.
It’s a good idea to check the faucets, toilets, dishwasher, washing machine and ice maker to be sure that they are all operating correctly. It’s totally normal if the water comes rushing out quickly or unsteadily at first; however, it should be operating smoothly within a few minutes.
6. Plugin Your Appliances
You likely unplugged most of your appliances when you winterized your home. Now it’s time to go around the house and plug everything back in.
7. Turn The Gas Back On
If you turned off the gas when you winterized your home, you’ll need to turn it back on once you return. You can turn this back on at the main valve, or if the gas was only partially turned off, you can open each of the individual valves.
8. Give The Outside Of Your Home A Once-Over
Most of your efforts will probably be spent indoors, but it’s a good idea to briefly check the outside of your home as well. Check the exterior faucets to ensure they aren’t leaking and check the gutters to ensure they aren’t clogged.
If You Return Home To A Problem...
Of course, there is the possibility that you could return to your home only to discover major problems. Perhaps you returned to a flooded basement, mold or frozen pipes.
Damage to your home can leave your life suddenly upended, but there are steps you can take to get a handle the situation.
Safety should be your top concern, and you’ll want to assess the extent of the damage. If your home isn’t safe to live in then you might consider staying with friends or family in the meantime.
You’ll need to document the damage so you can find out if it’s covered by your homeowner’s insurance. After you contact your insurance company, you’ll be assigned a representative who will handle your case.
And finally, you might want to start considering alternative funding sources. Hopefully, your homeowner’s insurance will cover all of the damage. But if it doesn’t, a personal loan could help you cover the difference.
Winterizing your home is an important step that every homeowner should take if your home will be vacated during the colder winter months. But it’s just as important to make sure you correctly de-winterize your home when you return.
Make sure that you turn the main water supply on slowly and check each fixture to make sure it’s working correctly. Check the house both inside and outside for leaks. And you’ll need to turn the power back on if you haven’t already done so.
It’s entirely possible to winterize and de-winterize your home on your own, but if you’re not interested in going this route, you can hire professionals to do it for you. According to online estimates, it costs between $50 to $150 to de-winterize your home. It’ll cost between $125 to $250 if you choose to re-winterize in the future.
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