Posted by: Todd Long | January 16, 2009

Protect your vacant home during a deep freeze

If you have a home sitting vacant right now you need to have it winterized if you haven’t already. This goes for landlords as well. If you haven’t here are a few tips to get you through the next few nights in the low teens.
First drain the supply lines of your plumbing. To do this turn off the water at the street or at the well. Then open all the faucets and let the water drain out of the lowest faucet in the house. You need to open all faucets or you may create a vacuum that doesn’t allow the water to back flow through the lowest faucet.
Second pour a cup or so of RV anti-freeze into every drain to prevent the P-trap from freezing. Don’t use car anti-freeze because that is highly toxic and good for your septic system or the sewer.
Also drain the water heater and put a 100 watt bulb in the well house. That’s the down and dirty way to get by in a crunch but I also suggest you have a plumber do a full weatherization in most cases.



  1. Todd, a timely message. I have a vacant listing right now in Mooresville, but the utilities, including the heat, are still on. During this cold spell I am visiting the house every day to check on the pipes. I have a few faucets open to a trickle, to help prevent freezing. Since the owners have already relocated to another city, I need to make sure there are no issues with the listing.

    Shutting all systems down and winterizing the home might have been a good option, except that I continue to use open houses as part of my marketing plan for this home, and the home needs to be comfortable and well lit for visitors.

    I’m glad winter is a short season here in North Carolina.

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