Dewinterizing a house is an integral condition for keeping a building safe with all its systems working while nobody is living there. Those who have summer houses know this pretty well. But what to do if you meet this task for the first time?
How to de-winterize a home and do it correctly?
Below you will find all the possible answers.
What Does Winterized Mean at All?
We are pretty sure that there are many people who have never heard of winterization at all. To explain this term shortly, the winterized house is a house that is not being used for quite a long time, and its owners prepare it for the wintertime by draining all the water out of the system.
This method allows the owner to save the pipes and plumbing system from being frozen and ruined in winter.
Respectively, unwinterizing a house means that the plumbing system and the heater are ready to work again for the next season.
A Detailed Instruction for De-Winterizing a House
Let’s imagine that you need to leave.
What to do in such a situation?
The correct answer is to prepare your home, especially if you will be absent for the whole winter, too. But what to do when you back again? Yes, you will have to de-winterize all the systems.
To do everything right, follow the next advice:
- The very first thing is to remove the aerators from the faucets. Which means including all the sinks in the house whether it is a kitchen sink, a sink in the laundry room or a vanity sink.
- The next stage is to open all the valves. You can find them under the sink. An important moment here is to check that all the handles of the faucets are closed.
- The next stage is the kitchen and its sink. Take a look at the supply line which goes to the fridge and a freezer. If it so happens that you notice this supply line is unconnected from the unit, you must immediately close its valves
- Now, take care of the machine that heats your water! Revise the steps described above, and start with opening the supply vent. Double-check that, before you reach the water gauge and open its vent, you open the hose bib.
It is required because then it will be clear whether the water is on, besides, it will relieve a part of the pressure after you connect the system back to the house
- After you are done with the previous actions, go to the water gauge. Open its vent gradually, don’t hurry. Why so? Because in this case the pressure will not damage the plumbing system and the house will avoid the leaks
- After you see the water is being transferred from the bib, go inside and double-check whether your water heating machine is also being filled up. Remember not to switch on the electric water heating until the tank is filled up!
- After you double-check that your water heating machine is doing well and is being filled up, turn on the water on all the other faucets. Do it gradually and let the water flow for a while to wash the system lines properly
- Done with that? Great! Proceed with the toilets and open the vents there. When the toilet tank is full, wash it to control that everything is working well
- Next, do all the same with the tubs and shower
- When you are finally convinced that everything is working, close the bib vent
- The final stage is to go round and check it for any water loss. If you don’t have any, feel free to install the faucet aerators again and turn on the heater after it is full
Turning water on after winterizing may seem to be a difficult and boring thing to do, but trust us, it is better to spend some time and do it correctly than making a mistake that will lead you to the reparation of all the plumbing system!
Unwinterizing a House. Extra Tips
Now that we are done with pipes, let’s go to the indoor space. Unwinterizing a house doesn’t only mean to take care of the water system, it is also about the windows and other “details” your place consists of. So how to mind them all?
- For windows, remove all the insulation tape from them (of course, if you put on any of it). To make the process go easier, use a hairdryer because after the winter the tape can become too sticky. Wash the window frame with soapy water afterward
- Clean the windows both from inside and outside to remove all the dust
- Test your smoke alarms. Replace the batteries if they are old, leaking or drying. Vacuum the surface around the alarm to delete any dust
- Change furnace filters
- If there is a fireplace in your home, take out all the ashes and vacuum inside. Wash the insides of the fireplace with warm soapy water and check the chimney
- Vacuum and wash the floors
- Check the roof for any damages
- Clean the gutter of old leaves, sticks, and dirt
What Is the Purpose of the Antifreeze for House Pipes?
In case you need to winterize your house pipes, it is essential to take care of them and prevent them from covering with ice in the winter.
What threat do your frozen pipes bring?
First of all, they will stop getting water, and also cause a real flood!
One more damage that can happen is that the pipes when being frozen can literally burst because of the high pressure.
Among all the means of preventing your pipes from freezing, using antifreeze is one of the most effective ones. In fact, it’s the same liquid that is used for car radiators. As comes from its name, it prevents water from freezing inside the pipes.
For home use, choose non-toxic antifreeze with propylene glycol (usually marked as RV Antifreeze).
To apply the product, pour it directly into the toilet water tank after you drain the water out of it. Antifreeze can also be used for shower and tubs.