Winterizing your vacation property at the Lake of the Ozarks is a great way to protect your investment during the frigid winter months. The Lake area has a very short rental season, due to the fact that we get some cold winters here, and you can’t enjoy the lake when it’s below freezing outside. Many Lake of the Ozarks vacation rentals are second homes, owned by people that live out of the area. Often times, this means that a home or condo at the Lake of the Ozarks could sit empty for months during the winter season. Keep reading for a list of things to consider doing at your property before the freezing temperatures set in.
Winterizing Your Vacation Property at the Lake of the Ozarks
Start by setting your HVAC system to heat around 55 degrees. While it might be tempting to set it lower or turn it off completely to save electricity while no one is staying there, this can cause problems with things in your home getting too cold and then breaking. You’ll also want to check your filter and replace it if needed.
To avoid problems and maintenance issues at your property next spring, it’s a good idea to take some precautions, especially with your plumbing. Water, frozen or melted, in the wrong places can cause a big headache come spring. The following procedures can help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting during the cold winter months:
- Be sure to turn off your water heater at the breaker, and drain all the water from the tank.
- Drain any water from spray attachments at your sinks and from the handheld shower head hoses.
- Flush your toilets and remove any excess water from the tanks and bowls. You can even consider pouring some antifreeze into your toilets.
- Open all water faucets and valves inside your home to be sure all the water has drained from pipes.
- After the above steps, be sure to shut off the main water valve to ensure no more water enters your home.
- For extra precaution, you can also consider wrapping all exterior pipes, as well as any pipes in uninsulated areas of your home, with polyurethane or fiberglass pipe insulation.
In addition to preparing your plumbing, you’ll want address several other items inside your home to ensure a problem-free winter at your Lake of the Ozarks vacation home. Follow these tips:
- Inspect your attic, basement and crawl spaces for ample insulation. (This will also help keep your pipes from freezing.)
- Hopefully you’ve already thought about removing any food from the freezer and fridge since you’ll be gone for a long period of time. You should also consider defrosting the refrigerator and leaving it unplugged with the door ajar.
- Seal any air leaks that would allow cold air into your home. Pay special attention to door and window frames. Use weather stripping or caulking to fill any gaps.
- If you have any gas appliances in your home, be sure to turn off the pilot lights and turn off the gas. At this time, check for any possible gas leaks as well.
- Go through and unplug all appliances, lamps, etc. from the outlets.
- Check your breaker box and turn every non-necessity off. This would likely be anything besides the HVAC system, security system and outdoor lighting.
In addition to inspecting and protecting the interior of your home, you’ll want to take a look at the outside as well. Avoiding issues with the exterior of your home can help prevent issues inside as well. Use these tips for exterior preparations for your home this winter:
- Protect your outdoor appliances, furniture and plants by either bringing them inside or covering them with waterproof covers.
- Keep pests from seeking warmth in your home by repairing or covering any holes, including chimneys, dryer vents, etc.
- Inspect your roof, checking for any damaged, loose or missing shingles that could cause a leak during winter storms or snow melt.
- Clean out your gutters so that melted snow and ice can properly drain away from your home.
- Turn off any exterior faucets on your home. Disconnect any water hoses and be sure to drain any remaining water from spouts. If you have a sprinkler system, you’ll want to turn that off and drain it as well.
- Trim trees back away from your home to prevent property damage from fallen limbs. The weight of snow and ice, and even the winter storm winds, can cause branches to break.
By following these tips, you’re less likely to show up to a surprise in your vacation home or condo when you get back to the Lake area this spring. if you’re part of the Your Lake Vacation rental program, and you’re not going to be back in the area until spring, this is something we can help you with! Just give us a call and we would be happy to discuss how we can work together to ensure your property makes it through the winter without any major issues. Give our office a call at 573-365-3367. And if you’re looking for a property manager and haven’t found one yet, we’d love to talk to you about what we offer for property management services at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Nightly Vacation Rentals at the Lake of the Ozarks:
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4571 Osage Beach Pkwy, Suite A
Osage Beach, MO 65065
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