Winterize a Vacant house in Atlanta Georgia

If you have a house that is going to be vacant for a while or indefinitely, you probably need to take some steps towards “winterizing” the house. You don’t want water in your pipes freezing and causing extensive damage to the plumbing and house.

How to winterize a vacant house in Atlanta

How to winterize a vacant house.

Posted by Arbor View Properties on Wednesday, March 7, 2018

We recently posted a Facebook Live video to our Facebook page detailing the steps you need to take to winterize your vacant house. Go check out our Facebook page here and follow us!

STOP! BEFORE you read all of this… If you just want to SELL YOUR VACANT HOUSE NOW in Metro Atlanta and not deal with any of this CALL US NOW at 770-810-5715 or fill out the form on our homepage.

If you aren’t ready to sell now and you want to know how to winterize your vacant house, keep reading.

Here’s a recap of the steps you need to take.

  • Shut off the main water line out near the street.
  • Find the highest faucet in the house or the furthest away from where the main water supply line enters your house and open/turn on that faucet.
  • Find the highest faucet in the house or the furthest away from where the main water supply line enters your house and open/turn on that faucet.
    • Either upstairs
    • Or opposite side of the house from where the water line enters the house.
  • Turn off your water heater
    • Electric water heater – turn off the breaker in your breaker panel
    • Gas Water heater – turn off the gas valve feeding the water heater. Both the valve on the gas line & the gas control/pilot knob. Turn to off.
  • Find the lowest point in your water system
    • Either your water heater spigot/hose bibb
    • Or possibly a hose bibb/spigot outside of the house.
  • Open this up. You can leave this open.
  • Drain your water heater entirely. Hook a water hose up to the hose bib on the front open the valve and drain to somewhere outside.
  • Shutoff all the water supply lines to your toilets & sinks. (yes I know this is redundant since you turned off the main…just an added precaution…)
  • Flush all of your toilets to empty the water from the upper tank.
  • Remove the remaining water from the toilet bowl by using a turkey baster (probably not a good idea to reuse this for cooking…). Or you can soak up the water with a large grout sponge.
  • Fill the toilet bowl with a little RV antifreeze. 4″ deep or so to the very bottom of the bowl is enough. This will prevent sewer gasses from stinking up the house.
  • Remove the lid from the toilet tank and fill that up with a couple inches of RV antifreeze. This will keep the toilet seals from drying out.
  • Pour a liberal amount of RV antifreeze down all of your sink drains. This will displace any water sitting in the P-traps and replace it with the antifreeze and keep sewer gasses from stinking up the house and prevent the drain pipes from freezing.
  • If your house has natural gas or propane go shut off the gas at the meter or at the propane tank
  • Slightly open a couple windows that are inaccessible from the ground on opposite sides of the house to allow some airflow through the house to mitigate stagnant air which can lead to mold during our hot humid summers here in GA. Make sure there are screens on these windows to keep the critters out. Also pick a window that is not in the direction of the prevailing winds so that you don’t get any water blowing in during a storm. We all know we can get some pretty crazy storms with wind driven rain.
  • Notify your homeowners insurance company that the house is going to be vacant. They will likely put you on a special insurance policy.
  • Find someone to check on the house periodically. Once per week at a minimum. If you wait too long to check on the house and something happens at the house, your insurance company may deny your claim. Make sure you document when the house was checked on in case of future insurance claims.
  • Call the utility companies and shutoff all of the utilities. No sense in paying for that if you wont be living there for an extended period of time.
  • If you will only be gone for a short while, it may be beneficial to leave the heat or air conditioning on but turn them up or down a little to keep the house temperate. In that case, ignore the steps for shutting off electricity and the main gas supply.


  • Clean out and throw away all perishable foods from your pantry(s) and refrigerator.
  • Remove all garbage/trash from the house and dispose of it.
  • Leave the fridge doors open to prevent mold and mildew inside.
  • Leave your dishwasher door open to prevent mold and mildew growth if it happens to be wet or damp inside from recent use.
  • Shut off the main electrical breaker for the house. This will be either at the top of your breaker panel or outside near your electrical meter.



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