It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Surrounding ourselves with loved ones, celebrating the holiday season, and enjoying some delicious foods are how most of us celebrate the holidays. Some of us have family in the same town, others have family within driving distance, and others need to hop on a plane to visit their loved ones.
If you fall into the latter and are traveling for the holidays, whether just a few hours away by car or by plane, you’ll need to leave your home for some time. Leaving your home unattended in the winter can be dangerous, especially here in Denver, Colorado Springs, and surrounding cities with our harsh winters. If you are traveling this winter, don’t worry! Keep reading to learn how to keep your home safe while you’re away so you can truly enjoy your trip.
Drain the Pipes
If you’re only going to be away from your home for a short period, you don’t need to worry about draining the pipes. However, if you are going on an extended vacation this year, whether it be a couple of months to escape the cold or a few weeks for a trip across the globe, you’ll want to drain the pipes in your home before you leave. If they have water in them, pipes could freeze or burst in freezing temperatures which we often get here in Colorado.
Take the following steps to drain the pipes in your home:
- Turn off the water main
- Turn on every faucet in your home and outdoor spigots
- Turn faucets off when they stop running
If you have a house sitter while you’re away, it’s not necessary to drain the pipes. However, if you don’t, it’s better to be safe and drain them to avoid a messy disaster.
Lower the Thermostat
Lower the thermostat in the winter? Sounds crazy! While it doesn’t sound pleasant during the colder months, lowering the thermostat right before you leave your home in the winter is a great safety measure you can take. According to The Department of Energy, keeping the thermostat to 68° during the winter while you’re home will keep your home warm while saving you some money on your energy bill. When you’re away, lower your thermostat by 7-10 degrees, but don’t set it lower than 55°. Lowering the thermostat will prevent it from running in overdrive while the home isn’t occupied and can help pipes from freezing when the temperature outdoors dips below freezing.
Don’t Let Your Home Appear Empty
It’s easy to spot an empty home if the homeowners haven’t taken a few measures to make it appear occupied. Before you leave for your trip, take some time to make your home appear occupied, not empty.
Some easy ways to prevent your home from appearing empty while you’re away are to set a light timer, have your mail held, keep your trashcan stored away and not by the curb, schedule your driveway to be plowed, etc. It’s even easier to tell if a home is empty here in Colorado where we get frequent snow – if a driveway hasn’t been shoveled, it’s obvious no one is home.
Ask a Neighbor for Help
If you have great neighbors you trust, you’ve hit the jackpot. While you’re away in the winter, ask them for help to look over your home to keep it safer. They can monitor your home for packages left by your front door, turn lights on and off, and shovel your driveway if needed. They can also take your trashcan out on trash day and wheel it back so it appears that you are home. Excellent neighbors are a great tool for keeping your home safer while you’re away in the winter months!
Clean Your Gutters
We have a chance for wintry precipitation often here in Colorado during the winter months; we get on average 56.5” of snow per year! Unless you’re going out often to keep up with shoveling and snow removal, snow, ice, and freezing rain can be almost impossible to remove if it’s left to build up. When you’re going for an extended winter trip, there’s a risk of damage to your home’s exterior, including the gutter system.
A gutter system with leaves, twigs, and pine needles that have settled into the gutter during the fall months is at risk of developing ice dams in the event of winter weather. Ice dams form on open-top gutters when heat from inside a house melts the accumulated snow on a roof. As a result, meltwater has nowhere to drain, constantly refreezing and melting, resulting in ice dams. Clogged gutters exacerbate these issues, making it easier for ice dams to form. Cleaning your gutters often can help prevent ice dams from forming so you can enjoy your time while you’re away in the winter instead of worrying about possible damage.
Yes, cleaning your gutters can help prevent ice dams. However, it’s a temporary fix that needs to be done often to keep the gutters free of debris. Nothing protects your home like the K-Guard System; our gutter product blocks all debris from entering the system, eliminating clogs for good. Our curved hood prevents ice dams from forming because meltwater, snow, and ice slide off the gutter system rather than accumulating or entering the gutters. You’ll never need to worry about your gutters again, especially while traveling.
Contact our team today to learn more about the K-Guard System, or call (970) 432-8093. K-Guard is the premiere gutter company in Colorado, providing a leaf-free gutter solution for homeowners for many years. We proudly install the K-Guard Gutter System across the state of Colorado including, but not limited to, the following locations: Denver, Colorado Springs, Littleton, Centennial, Aurora, Boulder, Castle Rock, Broomfield, Fort Collins, and so many more!