Winterizing a Home on Lake Martin
Winterize your Lake Martin home to avoid water damage and costly repairs. With Lake Martin being located in the Deep South, we rarely experience extended periods of freezing temperatures. It still a good idea to prepare your lake home or cabin for the winter months. These are some simple things to do to reduce the winter worries of owning a home on Lake Martin. Don’t wait until you are on a vacation or busy with the Holidays.
Winterize Outdoor Faucets
Faucets are the most common area of problems. You need to begin the process of draining and winterizing your outdoor faucets when you a freeze is possible. Remove the hose attachments from your home and cover the faucet with an insulated protector. It is common for these to sell out quickly. Plan ahead and buy before the weatherman says a cold front is coming!
Exposed pipes in unheated areas are very susceptible to freezing temps. This is more common in older cabins and homes with a conventional foundation. Over my 20 years in real estate, I have seen a lot of major damage from frozen pipes to homes. If accessible, make sure your pipes are well insulated. Check for exposed pipes in the attic and crawlspace. Also, check foundation vents and confirm they are shut to hold any heat from the ground. Consider having a plumber come put a quick drain valve that is easy to access. This way you can drain in seconds before you leave, and quickly have your lake house up and running when you come to the lake.
Irrigation system are often forgotten. Don’ forget to drain and winterize your irrigation system and turn off at the control panel. You risk ruining the pump and inlet pipe from freezing temperatures. Another common problem is burning out the irrigation pump if your system runs after the lake level drops below your inlet valve.
Outdoor faucets, freezing pipes and irrigation systems are the most common winterizing tips. There are a few other thinks to think about before winter arrives.
I always recommend home owners have maintenance contracts for heating and cooling units, regardless of age. It is comforting to have your units inspected at the beginning of the heating and cooling season. This reduces the chances your home dropping below your “Away” temperature. Today it is so easy to change temp setting and check temperatures remotely.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace it’s recommended to have it inspected and/or cleaned before you light the first fire in your new Lake Home. I had a past customer that started the first fire in their older cabin to discover the previous owners stuffed the chimney with newspaper to eliminate a draft. Luckily there was no fire damage to the home, but it did create a lot of excitement and tested the smoke detectors. It is always a good idea to have a chimney sweep or other professional come out to inspect and clean a chimney, especially older homes.
Smoke & CO Detectors
Speaking of smoke detectors. The Fall season is a great time to test your smoke and CO detectors and replace their batteries. It is recommended to replace smoke alarm batteries annually. Make this an item on your “Winterize” checklist.
Setting aside some time each week to perform some of these fall maintenance tips can help you prevent issues that otherwise may have resulted in costly repairs. You can pick up all the supplies you need at the closest Russell Do-It Center. It’s always best to be prepared, as opposed to waiting and reacting to a problem that could have been easily prevented. So get out, enjoy the beautiful Fall weather, and get your home ready for the winter months!
Call Your Agent
If your home is for sale and you get caught off guard, Call Your Real Estate Agent! I get a handful of calls every year from a few of my listings clients. The most common concern is not remembering if the owner left the thermostat on cool or heat. Other than buying a home on Lake Martin, the best investment you can make is a smart thermostat. Also, if your home is for sale be sure and put notes on toilets to let potential buyers know the home has been winterized. This will reduce the chances of any surprises for you as the homeowner. Here is a printable winterized form for your use.
Lake Martin Realtor
Miller Dark is a top producing Lake Martin Real Estate Agent for RealtySouth. His focus is waterfront homes, condos and lot sales on Lake Martin. Miller has over 20 years experience focusing on listing and selling waterfront property on Lake Martin.