9 Tips to Safeguard Your Vacation Home in This WinterPosted Wednesday, December 4, 2013
If you’re closing up your summer vacation home to head for warmer climates or leaving your home for an extended period, follow these tips to safeguard your home from harsh weather, pests and vandalism:
- Trim bushes, shrubs and hedges. This isn’t to make your yard prettier. It’s to improve your home’s security by providing an unobstructed view of your doors and windows.
- Prune tree limbs and branches. You don’t want any branches hanging over your house. They provide easy access to rodents and robbers and could fall during storms, damaging your home in.
- Bring in outdoor furniture and decorations. Don’t chance having your outdoor chairs, tables or decorations destroyed during winter storms.
- Securely store valuable property. ATVs, bicycles, canoes and riding lawn mowers are easy targets for thieves. Make them harder to steal by locking them up in a shed or garage.
- Drain the water. Remove water from spas, swimming pools and any other vessels that contain water. You may also want to winterize the toilets in your home.
- Empty fridge and freezer. Don’t leave anything in your refrigerator or freezer that can go bad if the electricity is off for an extended period of time. Food that thaws and refreezes is dangerous and can make a big mess. Clean the fridge and freezer to come home to a sweet-smelling kitchen.
- Turn off main water supply. If there’s a leak or your pipes burst, this prevents water from pouring unchecked into your home. To prevent pipes from bursting, open all faucets and drain the waterlines.
- Set your thermostat to 58 degrees. You want to turn down the heat, but don’t turn it off. Setting it at about 58 degrees should prevent problems.
- Unplug electronics. Prevent damage from power surges during storms and reduce your electric bill by unplugging all electronics, electrical appliances and charging devices.
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Prune tree limbs and branches
Turn off main water supply
Winterize the toilets