Preparing Your Vacation Home for Winter

Closing up your Carroll County vacation home for winter requires more than just ensuring you have locked the doors and thrown out the trash. Because a properly prepared house will withstand months of vacancy, you must ensure it will be ready for you to enjoy when you return in the spring. Doing so is the only way to protect your financial investment from such things as mold and corrosion.


Clean your house

Because there is nothing worse than having to clean the first day on vacation, you should be sure to thoroughly clean your house before you leave for the winter. Additionally, you should include your furniture on your list of cleaning tasks as food crumbs, stains, and sand just love to get trapped in the all the little crevices.

Additionally, as you know, homes tend to harbor a lot of moisture throughout winter from changing temperatures, so it is very important to ensure your house does not hold that moisture throughout the winter. Excess moisture can lead to an overgrowth of mold and mildew for you to deal with next season. Of course, you should also make sure that you do not leave any crumbs behind. A stray crumb here or there on the floor can lead to an unwanted rodent and insect infestation. This type of problem could end up costing you a lot of money to fix.


If you know the horror of a burst pipe, you know how important it is to ensure your pipes do not freeze over the winter. If you have not experienced a burst pipe, you should take every precaution to avoid this unwanted nightmare. Returning to a flooded house and the inevitable damage is simply not preferable on the first day of vacation!

Fortunately, you can avoid burst pipes by draining the water. To do this, you should turn off your home’s main water valve. Next, you should open all of your faucets to allow any excess water to run out.


Although your gutters may not be one of the first things you think of when closing up your primary home, it is actually very important that you check them before you leave for the winter. Gutters that do not drain properly can wreak havoc on your roof. For instance, water in a blocked gutter can freeze and back up onto your roof. This is called an ice dam. Ice dams can cause leaking into the interior walls of your house. This, in turn, can lead to structural damage as well as mold.


Because small roof issues have a way of growing into serious ones, it is important to inspect your roof before you leave for an extended period of time. The following are some things you should look for as they are a clear sign that your roof needs to be repaired.

– missing shingles

– cracked shingles

– curled shingles

Taking care of any issue will ensure that you do not return to additional roof damage or water damage.


One of the last things you should do is unplug all gadgets and appliances, including your oven. Doing this will help guard against the risk of fire due to a faulty switch or an animal chewing on a wire.


If your heat or hot water is powered by a propane tank, you should be sure to disconnect the tank before leaving for the winter. Disconnecting the propane tank will help to prevent any dangerous gas from causing a potentially dangerous situation.

Vents and dampers

You should be sure to close all ducts as well as your dryer vent. If your house has a fireplace, be sure to close the fireplace damper. Closing all ducts, vents, and dampers will prevent animals from entering your home and wreaking havoc throughout.

Fawnridge Realty

Fawnridge Realty has years of experience helping people find their perfect place along the rolling hills and private lakeside of Northwestern Illinois. The Lake Carroll community features year-round sports and activities the whole family can enjoy. The placid waters of Lake Carroll are recreational outdoor fun. Ready to start looking? Contact us today!