top of page

Preparing an Unoccupied House for Winter: A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners

English country home nestled amongst the trees and snow. Photo by Craig Cooper,

As the winter months approach, homeowners with unoccupied properties face the challenge of maintaining their homes to prevent potential issues caused by the cold weather. Whether you're preparing a property for sale or navigating the probate process, taking the necessary steps to winterise the unoccupied house is essential. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies for keeping your property safe and well-maintained during the winter season.

Temperature Control:

One of the primary concerns for an unoccupied house is maintaining an appropriate temperature. Set your thermostat to a low but consistent temperature, typically around 10 degrees Celsius. This will help prevent frozen pipes and other weather-related damages.

Plumbing Precautions:

Frozen pipes can lead to costly repairs. To avoid this, turn off the water supply to the house and drain the plumbing system. Additionally, consider adding antifreeze to toilet bowls and sink drains to prevent any remaining water from freezing.

Seal Entry Points:

Inspect your home for any gaps or openings that may allow cold air to enter. Seal windows, doors, and any other openings with weather-stripping or caulking. This not only helps maintain a warmer interior but also prevents pests from entering.

Appliance Maintenance:

Unplug non-essential appliances to reduce energy consumption. Empty and clean the refrigerator, leaving the doors slightly ajar to prevent musty odours. Turn off the water supply to the washing machine and dishwasher to avoid potential leaks.

Security Measures:

Enhance security by installing motion-activated lights and timers for interior and exterior lighting. This creates the illusion of an occupied home and deters potential intruders. Ensure that all doors and windows are securely locked.

Regular Inspections:

Arrange for periodic inspections of the property. A trusted neighbour, property manager, or house clearance service can help identify and address any issues promptly. Regular check-ins also give you peace of mind that your property is well-maintained.

Landscaping and Exterior Maintenance:

Trim overgrown branches, clear gutters of debris, and secure outdoor furniture. These simple tasks can prevent potential damage caused by winter storms and ensure the exterior of your home remains in good condition.

Insurance Review:

Verify that your home insurance policy adequately covers your unoccupied property during the winter months. Some policies may require specific precautions, and it's essential to be aware of any limitations or requirements.


Taking proactive steps to winterise your unoccupied house is an investment in the long-term health of your property. By addressing temperature control, plumbing, security, and regular maintenance, you can safeguard your home against the challenges that winter may bring. Whether you're preparing a property for sale or navigating the probate process, these measures will contribute to a well-preserved and secure house throughout the colder months.

If you find yourself in need of assistance or prefer professional support in maintaining and inspecting your property, Ashton Mill is here to help. Our experienced team can provide comprehensive services to ensure your property remains in optimal condition during the winter season and beyond.

Phone: 01225 690011


bottom of page