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Winterizing a Vacant Home During Frigid Weather

Man Wrapping Pipes in a Franklin Rental PropertyFrigid temperatures are bad for any rental property; but, it’s especially bad for the properties that are vacant during these cold seasons. If you know that your rental property is going to be sitting empty for the foreseeable future, a good way of preserving it is by winterizing it properly. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t ready, you could end up with burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. If you want to know how to properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can handle winter’s deep freeze, keep reading.

Leave the Heat On

The first step towards winterizing your rental property is to leave the heat on. It’s natural to want to turn it off to save costs on utilities. What most people don’t anticipate is the cost that comes with a flooded home due to pipes that have burst because there was no heating in the rental home. You don’t need to leave the heat on full blast, but it should be consistently warm enough on the inside of the house to help keep your pipes from icing over.

Drain and Insulate Your Pipes

Frozen pipes often become very problematic, so it’s best to drain and insulate them properly, especially for a house that’s going to be vacant in cold temperatures. Start by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. Should your property have a sprinkler system, make sure you drain it so that you prevent any leaks underground. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – especially those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.

Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof

Make sure to always check your gutters and roof prior to leaving your rental property to be vacant. Next to plumbing, the gutters and roof of your rental property are very prone to cold-weather mishaps. Clogged gutters or missing shingles can cause water to seep into the attic and walls and gather around the house’s foundation. And if that water freezes, it will expand and wreck the structure. Hence, make sure your roof is weather-tight, your gutters clean and drained properly.

Trim Trees & Shrubs

In closing, one last task you should do to winterize your vacant rental property is to trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or overhanging the house. The same goes for woodpiles or any other objects that are touching the house. Take notice of any branches that might be too close to your roof. It could cause clogging of your gutters with leaves. You also don’t want them to break and fall on your house during a storm. Woodpiles are known to be spots for pests and insects. When it gets too cold, however, they will start moving indoors. The last thing you want to be doing during freezing temperatures is to deal with a broken window, a damaged roof, or a pest infestation. And, when you find yourself filing a claim with your insurance company, they could use these issues to deny it.


Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming but necessary task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management Titan, we help rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Franklin property managers by calling 615-538-7711.

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