For a home to remain in good shape throughout the winter it needs regular care and attention. When a home is occupied, many of the things that are necessary to keep it in good working order happen by default. But when the home is vacant, it is up to the owner or the property manager to prepare it for freezing temperatures and other winter risks.

Turn off all the water and drain the pipes, hot water heaters and hot tubs, expel water from the pipes throughout the house. With the water removed, you do not have to keep the house heated to prevent freezing.

Water hoses must be disconnected from the home and drained of water to prevent damage to both the hoses and the spigots where they attach to the house.

Close up all openings to the house to prevent animals and insects from entering the home for shelter, you will need to close up all openings throughout the house. These include dryer vents and the chimney.

Be sure your gutters are free of debris and attached properly to the house to funnel water away from the roof, siding and foundation.

Remove anything touching the side of the house, such as leaves and firewood.

Trim overhanging branches over the roof so they don't break off and damage your roof.

If you have gas heat you may want to have the gas shut off at the main.

Use automatically lighting to come on at dusk and go off at daylight to make the home appear to be occupied.

Have someone rake leaves and/or shovel driveways while you are gone.

Have a friend or neighbor periodically check on your home while you are enjoying the warm & sunny weather in Florida.