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Winterizing a Vacant Home During Frigid Weather

Man Wrapping Pipes in a Ojai Rental PropertyFrigid temperatures can be a hazard for any rental property, however, this applies especially to vacant properties during the coldest parts of the year. If you have a rental property that will be sitting vacant, even for just a few days, it’s very important to winterize it properly. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t prepared, you could sadly end up with burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. Hereinafter, we’ll talk about how (and why) to properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can withstand winter’s deep freeze.

Leave the Heat On

One of the initial steps you can accomplish to winterize your rental property is to leave the heat on. It could be enticing to turn it off and save a few dollars on utilities. But be aware, the price of tidying up a flooded home when your pipes burst will be much more than heating your rental for a few months. You don’t actually need to leave the heat on full blast, nevertheless, it should be regularly warm enough on the inside of the house to effectively help keep your pipes from icing over.

Drain and Insulate Your Pipes

Since frozen pipes cause big messes, it’s relevant to pay particular attention to draining and insulating them properly prior to leaving a house vacant in cold temperatures. Begin by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. You should likewise have your landscaper drain your sprinkler system if you have one, which can help prevent leaks underground. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – particularly those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.

Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof

Another essential task that you should carry about to winterize your vacant rental property is to clean and check your gutters and roof. Alongside plumbing, the gutters and the roof of your rental property are the possible culprits of cold-weather accidents. 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 then freezes, it will expand and devastate the structure. Rather, it’s good to keep your gutters clean and draining properly and your roof weather-tight.

Trim Trees & Shrubs

One last note, the last labor you should execute to winterize your vacant rental property is to trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or overhanging the house. You should moreover move any woodpiles or other objects touching the house. Branches too close to the house can bring about issues, from clogging up your gutters with leaves to breaking and falling on the house during a storm. Woodpiles invite pests and insects and they may move indoors when things get actually cold. In freezing temperatures, the last thing you need to deal with is a broken window, a damaged roof, or a pest infestation. Moreover, these items may be used by your insurance company to deny any claims you may file.


Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming though relevant task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management Limitless, we effectively help rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Ojai property managers by calling 805-702-7800.

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