Prepare Your Vacation Home for The Off-Season

There is no time like the present to start preparing for the future, especially with your vacation home that stays vacant during the off-season. Vacant homes can be vandalized, damaged by weather, and devastated by fires and other anomalies. It’s already difficult to manage these issues while living there; so how does one handle their home while they’re away?

Shut Off and Deactivate

Water System

Allowing water to continue to circulate throughout those months can be dangerous so it’s best to turn it off. However, still water will eventually freeze which will inevitably lead to burst pipes. If this happens, it could demand significant payment to fix and permanently damage a home’s interior. To fix this, owners should drain their pipes of water by turning on all the faucets in the house until the water stops running. Burst pipes aren’t the only cause for flooding, be sure to educate yourself on the other factors involved.

Electric System

You should also walk around your home and unplug all appliances like microwaves, TVs, toasters, washing machine, etc. These devices are dangerous even when they are not being used. It’s best to unplug these machines entirely to prevent any faulty wirings which could cause unsuspected fires and damages. This will also save money on the electricity bill.

Clear the Outdoors of Any Obstruction

Summer activities almost always occur outside. Winter can be harsh, be sure to store all your outside furniture, toys, and other items inside for those cold months. Strong winds are sure to come which could blow these items away or even towards your house and cause damage. These accidents will likely be expensive to fix and will also increase your liability insurance. When you’re away, it’s best to take precautionary measures to prevent these damages.

Snow Removal

You’ll also need to devise a plan with how to deal with the snow on your house. You have a couple options to choose from:

  • Installing a roof heating system
  • Hiring workers

You can install a roof heating system to melt snow off your roof, but this does use electricity, so you should know the risks involved. If the system isn’t properly installed, or the cables overlap or become damaged, then it runs the risk of starting a fire. Avoiding the heating system will likely result in you choosing to hire workers. The method is less risky in terms of home damage but requires more handling and fees.

Use Power When Necessary

Even with your water supply shut off, your pipes still require protection from the blistering cold. You should set your temperature from 50 degrees to 60 degrees, to prevent your pipes from freezing and cracking throughout the winter. This, of course, means that you should not turn off your circuit breaker altogether. While it may seem like an easy decision to save money, circuit breakers are usually connected to important systems like the sump pump, which is a vital part of the well-being to any home.

Another risk to consider is the potential invaders who target vacation homes during the off-season. Considering setting a schedule for your lights to turn on to ward off potential invaders.

Be Insured

Remember, even though your vacation home is only there for the summer, you’ll have to keep it insured just like you do with everything else. Any damages done to your house can be extremely expensive to fix or replace, and you must make sure you’re covered with home owner’s insurance. This will cover you for exterior and interior damages, replacement cost, personal property, and liability insurance.

If something did happen, TJ Woods offers a plethora of terrific home insurance policy that will have you covered. This includes guaranteed replacement cost coverage on damages and covers most of your loss of personal possessions. TJ Woods offers a great amount of further information on protecting your vacation home. Contact us to finalize your insurance plan!