Winter is approaching quickly, and it’s time to close up that summer home and prepare for some colder temperatures. Wondering how you can prevent the pipes in your vacation home from freezing? Here are five ways you can prepare your vacation rental home for snow or ice.

Get Your Vacation Rental Ready For Winter

1. Open your faucets and drain all water lines

By draining all the water out of your faucets and water lines, water can’t get stuck frozen in the pipes when the temperature dips below 32 degrees. This technique also includes outdoor faucets—be sure to disconnect your hose before you leave for the winter!

2. Keep the house at 68 degrees or higher

Even if you’ll be gone for a while, we recommend that you leave the temperature in your rental set above 68 degrees, but any temperature above 32 degrees will prevent frozen pipes. Keeping the air warm indoors will prevent the pipes from getting too cold. If you are really worried, invest in a temperature monitoring system that will notify you when temperatures in your rental drop too low.

3. Use foam-padding sleeves or insulating tape

Insulating the pipes to your rental is the easiest way to guarantee safe pipes during colder temperatures. Foam padding sleeves can be easily applied to the outside of the pipes to keep them warm. Insulating tape and heating tape can be installed to warm the pipes during the winter, but we recommend calling a plumber for help with installation. We also recommend using insulating tape or caulk for any closed windows near your pipes, in order to prevent any air leaks coming from this area.

4. Find out who does repairs in the area

If your rental is located in an area that gets extremely cold winters, we recommend finding someone in the area that does repairs, and getting a quote of the price. Although preventative measures can be taken, sometimes incidents are unavoidable. Save yourself some time before the winter weather hits!

5. Shut off water supply valves to your washing machine

If you do not plan on returning to your rental for a while, we recommend shutting off the water supply to your washing machines. After a while, the water lines connected to these valves can start to freeze up, so be sure to unplug the washer if you aren’t planning a return until next summer.

Additionally, you may want to connect a compressor to your water systems and blow out any remaining water. Compressors are inexpensive, and can be used easily. It is also recommended to force as much water out of sewage traps as possible. Sewage traps can be found kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as in toilets and floor drains. Check these areas to prevent back up sewage from freezing in your pipes. Trying to save money this winter? We recommend investing in a low-heat thermostat. With this, your home will stay at a solid 40 degrees all winter; where as regular thermostats typically only go as low as 55. Keep all this in mind when you start to pack up your rental for the winter!

This article was written by Kellyn Nettles.