How to Close up your Summer Home

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in Investment property, Real Estate, Tips | 0 comments

When leaving your vacation home for an extended length of time, it’s important to winterize the property to help ensure it’s in great shape upon your return. Unless you plan to sublet your home, there are a few essential things you can do to help protect your house through the cold months ahead before departing for the season.

Evaluate

To avoid facing any last minute obstacles, start evaluating the condition of the property a few weeks prior to leaving. Examine the exterior closely, checking the foundation, siding and trim for cracks and crevices. After inspecting the entire home for damages, from top to bottom, inside and out, arrange to haverepairs made.

Clean the gutters

It may be the one of the most overlooked seasonal maintainance tasks, but it’s definitely one of the most important. Clean the gutters, making sure that rain and snowmelt run freely away from the base of the house.

Inspect the roof

Carefully using a ladder or binoculars, check the roof for any raised shingles.  Also, be sure to inspect the eaves, where the roof overhang meets the house. Pests and rodents seeking to nest will look for refuge in the solar-warmed spaces of house attics.

Shut off power & gas

Electricity should be shut off at the main breaker, leaving only circuits that control necessities such as the alarm system. In addition, unplug all appliances to prevent possible damage caused by lightning. While gas should also be turned off at the main line, the safer option would be to have the service temporarily suspended.

Turn off the water supply

Turn off the main water supply and, working your way from the top of the house to the bottom, open all the faucets and leave them open. Remember to also drain the supply hoses to indoor and outdoor outlets as well.

Clean out closets & cabinets

Clean out all the closets and cabinets, and leave them open to ventilate. All the bedding should be removed and stored, however still be sure to cover all the mattresses to prevent any unwanted burrowing animals.

Store perishable food

Since food can attract unwanted animals, it is crucial to thoroughly clean the kitchen and pantry spaces. Store all non-perishable food in air-tight containers and relocate cans to the basement or bring them back to your primary residence.

 

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