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Winterizing a Vacant Home During Frigid Weather

Man Wrapping Pipes in a Clever Rental PropertyAny rental property that’s exposed to frigid temperatures will face hazards of sorts; more so the properties that are vacant during the cold season. If you happen to have a rental property that you know will be sitting empty for a while, it’s best to winterize it as soon as possible. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t ready, you could end up with burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. The following will be a quick guide to how you can properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can withstand winter’s deep freeze.

Leave the Heat On

A key step to winterizing your rental property is to leave the heat on. Of course, it seems like the right thing to do is to turn it off so as to save on utilities. The problem, though, is that it will be far more costly when the pipes burst and flood the home because there was no heating. You don’t need to leave the heat on full blast, but it should be consistently warm enough on the inside of the house to help keep your pipes from icing over.

Drain and Insulate Your Pipes

It can be very difficult to deal with the problems that come with frozen pipes. To avoid that, make sure you drain and insulate the pipes before the house becomes vacant in cold temperatures. Start by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure you have it drained so that you can prevent leaks underground. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – especially those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.

Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof

Make sure to always check your gutters and roof prior to leaving your rental property to be vacant. Next to plumbing, the gutters and roof of your rental property are very prone to cold-weather mishaps. Clogged gutters or missing shingles can cause water to seep into the attic and walls and gather around the house’s foundation. If that water is allowed to freeze, it will expand, and it will destroy the structure that it is in. It’s always wise to make sure your gutters are clean and drained properly, and your roof is securely made weather-tight.

Trim Trees & Shrubs

Last but not the least, what you can do to winterize your vacant rental property is to trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or overhanging the house. Woodpiles or other objects touching the house should be moved, as well. If there are any branches too close to the house, these can cause possible clogging of your gutters with leaves or the breaking or falling off branches on the house during a storm. Woodpiles are known to be spots for pests and insects. When it gets too cold, however, they will start moving indoors. When in freezing temperatures, you can’t be bothered by a broken window, damaged roof, or a pest infestation. These situations could even be used by your insurance company to deny any claims you file.


Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming but necessary task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management Momentum, we help rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Clever property managers by calling 417-220-4100.

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