A vacation home can be an excellent investment and can also provide many great times with family and friends. But when the summer ends and cold weather is right around the corner, it is important to close down you vacation home properly in order to protect it. Use the following tips to help ensure that your vacation home is safe and secure during the months that you are not using it:
Protect Your Pipes
The last thing that you want is for a pipe to burst, leak, or freeze when no one will be at your vacation home for months, as this can cause significant damage. Your best bet is to turn off the water main, open all of the faucets to let out excess water, and flush the toilets in your home until the bowl and tank are empty. For your peace of mind, consider hiring a plumber to blow compressed air through the pipes in your vacation home to ensure that they are completely empty of water.
Ready the Fridge and Freezer
When closing down your vacation home for the season, completely empty the refrigerator and freezer of all food items. Then thoroughly clean the interior of each one, and unplug it. To prevent mildew from forming, you may want to leave the doors of the unplugged appliance slightly open.
Keep Pests Away
No one wants raccoons, squirrels, bats, or any other type of pests to set up residence in a vacation home that is not in use during the winter. Before you leave for the last time, carefully inspect the exterior of your house to see if there are any openings that a pest may use to gain access. It is also essential to ensure that the chimney flue is tightly closed, as many animals and pests enter an unused home when the chimney is open.
Get Trees Trimmed
If your vacation home is surrounded by large trees, make sure you have them trimmed properly before you leave for the last time during the vacation season. If trees have large branches or limbs hanging over the roof of your vacation home, a heavy snowfall can cause them the break and crash onto the roof, which can cause a lot of damage that may not be noticed for several months.
Have Someone Check on your Home
While your second home may only be used for several months out of the year, there is a good chance that a property owner nearby lives in the area year round. If possible, ask a neighbor to check in on your vacation home occasionally to ensure that it is in good shape and that there are no problems that need to be addressed.