Holiday Home Winterization – What, Why, When & How

Winter is coming... have you fully prepared?
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Preparing your holiday home for winter is vital, especially when it comes to ensuring your static caravan is properly winterized through a comprehensive drain down process.

As the chilly winds sweep in and temperatures drop, safeguarding your holiday home at our Pritchard Leisure Holiday Parks (Madryn Castle & Sarnfaen) in North Wales becomes paramount.

Discover all the essentials about static caravan & lodge drain downs, including why they’re crucial, the steps involved, key things to remember, and how to gear up for the new season when it arrives!


Understanding Holiday Home Drain Downs

A static caravan drain down involves removing water from all pipes, boilers, and operational systems to shield your holiday home from the harsh impacts of frost and cold weather.

This preventive measure helps prevent potential damages such as burst pipes or cracks caused by freezing water during unoccupied periods in colder climates.


Is a Holiday Home Drain Down Necessary?

Winterizing your holiday home is typically strongly recommended by park operators or might even be a mandatory procedure. At our holiday parks, it is not strictly mandatory, however we highly encourage it, especially for those who will not be using their holiday homes over winter. 

Most importantly, compliance is often tied to your insurance policy, as neglecting a drain down could potentially void your cover.

Besides insurance requirements, safeguarding your beloved holiday retreat against possible damage due to freezing conditions is paramount.

Imagine returning in the new season to find your pride & joy marred by dampness, mold, or worse—frozen pipes resulting in bursts and floods, or even a broken boiler.

Seeking advice from experts, whether it’s a qualified plumber on-site or a knowledgeable member of the customer service team, can provide invaluable insights into conducting your static caravan or lodge drain down effectively.


Conducting a Static Caravan or Lodge Drain Down: Essential Steps

Here’s a rundown of fundamental steps to winterize your holiday home, ensuring it’s ready for the colder months:

1) Thorough Cleaning:

  • Clean all areas—kitchen, bedroom, toilet, and lounge spaces.
  • Clear debris, vacuum, and mop floors.
  • Remove perishable food items to deter pests.
  • Disinfect the fridge/freezer and leave doors slightly ajar.
  • Line cupboards with paper to protect tinned foods from rust.

2) Securing Valuables:

  • Safeguard essential items like medications, electronics, and sentimental belongings.
  • Take valuables with you and leave curtains open to signal an empty interior.

3) Damp Prevention:

  • Combat dampness by repositioning soft furnishings away from walls and ceilings.
  • Store bedding items in vacuum-sealed packs and consider removing curtains for storage.

4) Electrical Precautions:

  • Unplug electrical appliances and clean sockets.
  • Locate and switch off the mains power.

5) Gas Disconnection:

  • Turn off gas supply, disconnect the bottled source, and store safely.
  • Ensure no gas remains in the system by testing a gas ring on the hob.
  • *Note* You may instead choose to keep your gas connected and your boilers and radiators in ‘frost mode’.
  • You can also run your central heating for a short period each day to avoid damp & mold forming.

6) Water Drainage:

  • Shut off the water supply and open drain-down taps/disconnect pipe above external stop cock (ensuring central heating pipes are untouched!).
  • Apply anti-freeze and seal drains.
  • Empty the water heater and flush toilets.

7) Roof and Exterior Maintenance:

  • Clear debris from the roof and gutters, then clean using suitable cleaning agents.
  • Wash the exterior, paying attention to hidden spots, and ensure skylights and windows are cleaned.

8) Secure Windows and Doors:

  • Clean windows thoroughly, inspect seals, and securely lock all entry points.
  • Verify the roof’s integrity and check under the caravan for stability (ensure nothing is stored underneath as this will often void your insurance).

9) Park Notification:

  • Double-check your insurance coverage aligns with park security systems.
  • Report any issues to the park manager and ensure repairs are addressed before departing for winter.
  • Inform the park of your departure and confirmation of a proper drain down.


Is all this really necessary?

As we operate extended seasons at our holiday parks of 10.5 months (Sarnfaen) and 11.5 months (Madryn Castle) many of our owners may choose to make the most of their holiday homes over winter – I mean why wouldn’t you? North Wales is a magical place to spend winter and despite being a much quieter time of year, there is so much to see & do!

Therefore, some of these steps might be slightly over-cautious, especially if you will be coming and going repeatedly. However, we would still recommend paying attention to the general principles & steps above, and at the very least turn off your water from the exterior stop-cock and leave taps inside open to let water drain and air pass through!


Considering Professional Assistance:

We offer our holiday home owners a complementary drain down as part of our annual services, which we encourage taking advantage of if not using your holiday home for long periods of time.

If uncertain about conducting a holiday home drain down, seek assistance from our maintenance team or certified plumbers available through park reception. Contact us directly or call 017580 720593 (Madryn Castle) / 01341 247241 (Sarnfaen) for guidance on booking a drain down by our seasoned experts.

Ensuring your holiday home undergoes a thorough drain down is pivotal in safeguarding it from potential winter-related damages.

With these steps, you’ll be better equipped to protect your cherished home from home throughout the colder months, ensuring a hassle-free return when the new season arrives at our Pritchard Leisure Holiday Parks.

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