According to the calendar, winter is half over. When you live in Wisconsin, however, you know that we might still have another 3 months or more to get through before we see signs of spring. What to do to survive the harsh months ahead? Go somewhere warm! Many Wisconsinites leave for weeks or even months during the winter to escape… and that leaves your custom home sitting empty. Many customers of Colby Construction have built a second home and only reside during summer months in that home. 

Colby Construction provides care for your home during these absences. Colby Care will be sure to keep your custom home in tiptop shape. Perhaps you have a project you want taken care of while you are gone? From a fresh coat of paint to a kitchen remodel, Colby can take care of these items while you are enjoying the sunshine somewhere else. We can also get your home prepared for your departure and get it set for your return. 

Here’s a checklist of things you should do to prep your house when you are leaving for an extended period. 

Turn off the main water valve to avoid flooding.  

This is the absolute most important thing to do when leaving. Cold temperatures can cause pipes to burst, leaving you with a flooded home. Turning off the water is a must. The damage left behind from a flooded home includes ruined carpeting and floors, drywall and more. It is also important to turn off your automatic ice maker in your freezer so that it is not trying to pull in water. 

Remember, if you have a watering system in your yard, if you turn the water off to your home when you leave on vacation, your grass, garden, or flowers will not get water. 

Turn the heat down but not off. 

Keep your heat down but still on so that any remaining water in your pipes does not freeze. Keeping the heat on will also keep things in your home from freezing. Consider a thermostat that can be set to turn on to a higher temperature the day you return from your absence. 

Turn off or drain the water heater. 

This is a good idea particularly if you are leaving for an extended period of time. Turn off the water heater at the breaker. Once you have shut the power off, you can drain the heater, avoiding any problems with leaking. 

Unplug electronics and garage door. 

Avoid damage to electronics (particularly computers and modems) by unplugging them in case of an electric outage or power surge. Thieves can use universal garage door openers to get into your home. Be sure to unplug that. 

Final tips. 

Install timers on lights and have your mail stopped. Be sure your driveway is plowed so it appears that someone is home and that the house in not sitting empty. DO NOT post on Facebook or Twitter that you are out of town; the reasons are obvious.


Remember, Colby Care is happy to oversee your home, prep it for your departure and your return and take care of any home projects while you are away. 

Protect and update your custom home or custom lake home with Colby Care, a division of Colby Construction.