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How to protect your home before going on winter vacation.

Looking to escape the cold winter weather? Whether you are going away for one week or for an extended period of time, it is important to prepare your home before heading out to find warmer weather. As a homeowner, there are things you can do before you leave, and arrangements to make for while you are away, to avoid any costly repairs upon your return.

1. Check for leaks before you leave

You don't want a crack or leak to worsen while you are away. A week before leaving, inspect toilets, pipes, faucets & your water heater for cracks, drips and leaks. Get any issues fixed. Learn more about finding sources of common leaks in your home.

2. Keep water flowing

A regular flow of water can help prevent pipes from freezing. Ask your house sitter to run all of the taps in your house (including showers/baths) for 5 minutes each visit to reduce the risk of freezing.

3. Leave heat on

You should not turn your heat off when leaving for the winter. If temperatures drop below freezing, which is likely, you are risking frozen pipes. If you want to turn your heat down, we recommend setting your thermostat at 12 degrees celsius or higher. 

4. Winterize outdoor faucets

Detach, drain and store any outdoor hoses. Close any inside shut off valve that leads to the outdoor spigot. Open the outdoor faucet and let it drain for a few hours before closing. Install a cover on your outdoor faucet if you don't have a freeze-proof spigot. 

5. Insulate your pipes

Pipes inside and outside your house can freeze. Help prevent frozen pipes by wrapping water lines near exterior walls and doors with insulation, particularly in cooler areas like the attic, basement or garage. You can also wrap outside water pipes with heat tape.

6. Dispose of FOGs properly

While you should always dispose of fats, oils and grease (FOGs) properly, be extra vigilant before your travels. FOGs cause blockages in the sewer system that can then backup into your home. Put FOGs in a disposable container and throw in the garbage. 

Preventing frozen pipes

When water freezes it ex​pands, which can cause pipes to burst, and can leave you with water damage and costly repairs. If you are going away for the winter season, we recommend taking precautions against the cold weather. Learn more about how you can prevent frozen pipes and maintain water lines on your property so you can avoid water issues from happening while you are away.

Keep the path clear to your water meter touchpad​

If arranging for snow removal while you are away, make sure the path to your water meter touchpad is cleared. This will help us get an accurate reading of your meter rather than an estimate based on previous consumption. It also keeps our crew safe from icy paths or from items buried in deep snow.