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Winterizing a Vacant Home During Frigid Weather

Man Wrapping Pipes in a Irvine Rental PropertyFrigid temperatures can be a hazard for any rental property, but in fact, this applies particularly to vacant properties during the coldest parts of the year. If you have a rental property that will be sitting unoccupied, even for just a few days, it’s essential to winterize it properly. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t apt for it, you could have burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. In the ensuing paragraphs, we’ll discourse on how (and why) to properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can withstand winter’s deep freeze.

Leave the Heat On

One of the primary steps you should perform to winterize your rental property involves leaving the heat on. It would be inviting and tempting to shut it off and save a few dollars on utilities. But really, you have to take note, the expense for cleaning a flooded home when your pipes burst will be so much more than heating your rental for a small number of months. You don’t actually have to leave the heat on full blast, but certainly, it should be consistently warm enough on the inside of the house to successfully help keep your pipes from freezing over.

Drain and Insulate Your Pipes

Seeing that frozen pipes many times create big messes, it’s significant to take special consideration to drain and insulate them properly just before leaving a house vacant in cold temperatures. Initiate this task by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. You should similarly have your landscaper drain your sprinkler system if you have one, which can help prevent leaks underground. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – specifically those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.

Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof

Another imperative task that you should fulfill to winterize your vacant rental property is to clean and check your gutters and roof. Along with plumbing, the gutters and the roof of your rental property are perhaps the culprits of cold-weather problems. Clogged gutters or missing shingles can lead to water seeping into the attic and walls and gathering around the house’s foundation. If that water then freezes, it will expand and cause destruction to the structure. On the contrary, it’s great to keep your gutters clean and draining properly and your roof weather-tight.

Trim Trees & Shrubs

One final note, the last thing 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. You should likewise move any woodpiles or other objects touching the house. Branches too close to the house can bring on troubles, from clogging up your gutters with leaves to breaking and falling on the house during a storm. Woodpiles invite pests and insects, which may proceed to move indoors when things get cold. In freezing temperatures, the last thing you need to deal with is a broken window, a damaged roof, or a pest infestation. Furthermore, these items might be used by your insurance company to deny any claims you may file.


Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming nonetheless significant task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management Agile, we easily help rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Irvine property managers by calling 949-503-5300.

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