The leaves are all gone off the trees and that's a sure sign that winter is just around the corner. If you have lived in the high country for any length of time you know that winter weather can start as early as October and last until May. It doesn't go by the calendar dates of December 21 and end on March 20th. I'm sure you've all heard the saying "if you don't like the weather in Boone just wait 5 minutes". Over the past week we have had flooding in the county with over 7inches of rain at my house. The next day we had snow and today we have freezing rain.
If you plan on going away for the holidays or for any length of time there are some preparations you should do to your house so you can have peace of mind while you're away.
One of the first things I would do and it is easy to forget, is to disconnect your water hose from the outside spigot. I don't think any of us will be washing our own vehicles for a long time.
The reason you want want to disconnect the hose is, if you leave it connected the water will not drain as it is designed to do so therefore the water will freeze inside the wall. You will not know that there is a problem until you turn the spigot back on with the hose attached to it. At this point water will leak out inside the wall and possibly into your home.
Any time you're away from your home for any length of time it's a good idea to turn off your water supply. It only takes a few minutes and could save you from having serious and expensive damage when you return. The number one cause of water damage in homes is actually the refrigerator icemaker supply line or solenoid. By having the water turned off it could save you from having thousands of gallons of water leak into your home.
I know we all want to try and save money where we can. You may think that turning your heat off when you leave is a good idea. Actually it's not a good idea. It will cost you a lot more if your pipes freeze while you are away. The temperatures can drop quickly when you least expect it to. Your heat should not be set any lower than 50.
These are just a few suggestions if you are going to be away from your home for a short period of time. If you are leaving the high country for the entire winter there are many more extensive steps that will need to be done to ensure your mountain home will be ready to welcome you back.