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How to Prepare Your Second Home for Winter

Ice Fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee in New HampshireWith the holidays behind us, it’s time to make sure your New Hampshire Lakes Region vacation home is ready for winter. Damage from winter storms can be costly, so if you haven’t already taken these steps, now’s the time to double check that everything is all set. Additionally, when it's time to winterize your home, there may be other things you'll need to do. Consider the below a starting point. Finally, whether you own a waterfront home on Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake property, or waterfront real estate in New Hampshire’s other coastal or lake regions, you likely also own equipment such as boats, jet skis, and/or docks that should be properly stored and prepared for winter as well. 

Top Ten Things to Do to Winterize Your Second Home

  1. Inspect everything, especially what you’ll be using to heat the house. Inspect and service your home’s heating system, inspect and clean your chimney, inspect the roof for any possible damage that needs to be repaired, including to roof flashing, and seal any gaps in the attic.
  2. Clear the yard. Look for things that could cause damage, such as dead or weak trees, branches, and overhanging limbs, and remove them.
  3. Clean your gutters.
  4. Drain and detach outdoor garden hoses.
  5. Protect your home from possible water damage caused by burst pipes, mold, mildew, and more. Bring in a plumber to inspect and drain water from pipes throughout your house. Removing the water will protect your pipes and your home from possible damage, and you won’t have to heat it, so it’ll save you time, money, and hassle down the road if something were to happen.
  6. Prepare the exterior of your home for winter storms. Remove anything touching the side of the house, such as leaves, branches, piles of firewood, etc. and pay particular attention to anything that could retain water and anything that could serve as a home for insects or rodents.
  7. Secure your property, including watercraft, docking, and more.
  8. Use moth balls to keep insects out of your home. They really work.
  9. You may also want to consider installing a remote alarm system, looking for a property manager to keep an eye on things, or asking a friend, family member, or neighbor to check-in periodically. You can also do things to make the home appear to be occupied, such as set lights to turn on using timers, having someone come and do some light landscaping, having the driveway cleared, and having someone come check on the house, leaving tire tracks and creating the appearance of someone having been home recently.
  10. Of course, you’ll also need to empty the refrigerator and freezer, wash linens, bedding, etc. and clean the interior of your house.

Anyone who's lived on a lake knows that lake homes require additional upkeep; however, the impact on your home's property value long term is well worth it. Contact top Lakes Region realtor and Lake Winnipesaukee listing agent Nicole Watkins to learn more about her experience living on Lake Winnipesaukee and get recommendations for service providers who can help you with your second home maintenance needs.

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