If you fly south for the winter, there are some precautionary steps you should take to ensure that your home is safe while you are gone. In addition to the steps you can take, My Dwelling provides Property Management with their Home & Condo Management program. They will visit your property weekly and take all the worry out of the home being vacant. They also provide other services such as coordinating maintenance repairs, move-in/out checklists, rent collection, security deposit, and accounting management if you decide to rent it while you are away. They can also monitor furnaces, walk throughs following a rain storm, schedule gutter cleanings and more!
Here are some things to do with your vacant home during the winter:
- Forward your mail, stop your newspaper deliveries or ask your friend or relative to collect things that are left on your doorstep.
- Arrange for someone to shovel the driveway after a snow storm.
- Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from occurring.
- Check large overhanging branches and consider taking them down. They could be a hazard in a snow storm.
- Have your chimney inspected and closed to make sure that no critters will find their way into your property.
- Drain and shut off outdoor water faucets to prevent freezing damage.
- To make sure your home looks like it is continuously occupied, set some interior lights on a timer, and put motion-sensor lights on the exterior.
- Confirm that your alarm systems are in working order and have been turned on. Or download an app to your phone that can control the alarm from anywhere.
- Depending on how long you will be gone you can protect your pipes by turning off your water. Hire a plumber to blow compressed air through the pipes to make sure there is no excess water left.
- Otherwise if your home will only be vacant for a short amount of time, you will need to keep your home at a minimum of 55°F to keep pipes from freezing. Leaving room doors and under the sink cabinets open will also help the circulation.
- Clean, defrost and unplug refrigerators and freezers by wiping them dry and leaving doors propped open to prevent mildew.
- Store valuables that you are not taking with you in a safe or an offsite location.
- Unplug all unnecessary appliances before you leave.
These are imperative to complete before your property would be considered winterized. Taking care of your property can take time and skills you may not have. Consider hiring a representative from the Home & Condo Management who could take care of all of these chores for you. Professional, respectful and timely, the Home & Condo Management division are people you can trust.