When the weather starts to turn colder, it is time to think about winterizing your second home. Preparation prevents many common issues from costing you time and money in the future for repairs to damage.
With some forethought and a Vacation Home Insurance policy, you can rest easy during the wintertime.
Winterizing an Unoccupied Home
Before you leave your vacation home, you need to take steps to prepare both the inside and outside:
- Do a thorough clean of the home. Remove food from the refrigerator. Clean your appliances and cupboards and leave the doors slightly open to encourage airflow.
- Check the attic, basement, windows, and doors for cracks and seal any gaps.
- Wash linens and place them in tightly covered containers.
- Inspect your heating system and test smoke alarms.
- Turn off the water, close the drains, and drain the pipes if needed.
- rid of pests. Spray or set out deterrents and traps for insects and rodents.
- Set the temperature to 55 degrees to keep the interior from drawing damp or causing issues with the plumbing.
- Remove all trash from the premises.
- Have a professional come in to inspect your chimney and roof. Get them serviced and repair any issues that are detected. Clean the chimney and clear the gutters of all leaves and debris.
- Trim back your trees, especially any branches that hang over your property. Winter storms and high winds could knock down a tree limb and cause damage to your home.
- Store your outdoor furniture, grills, and other items indoors if possible. If you don’t have the space for this, cover them tightly to prevent damage from moisture.
Make yourself a checklist so you can mark off each job as you complete it. Keeping track prevents you from forgetting any of the necessary tasks.
Additional Winterization Tips to Keep Your Vacation Home Safe
When your second home goes unoccupied for months at a time, safety and security are vital. Keep your Vacation Home Insurance updated and follow these added recommendations:
- Activate your alarm system, or have one installed if you don’t yet have one.
- Take your most valuable items with you when you leave. If you can’t remove everything from the home, keep them secured and locked away if possible.
- Tell your local police or security guards of your plans. Let them know of your departure date and when you plan to return so they can look out for suspicious activity.
- Forward your mail, arrange for snow removal and install motion lights. Little things like this make it look like the house is still occupied and deter thieves.
- If possible, have a friend stop by once in a while to check on the property.
Winterizing your home doesn’t have to be so much of a chore if you follow these guidelines. Give yourself enough time to take care of all the details. This way, when it is time to leave for the season, you can do so without worry.
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