Are you a homeowner heading south this winter to avoid the cold weather? Before you take off, there are a few steps you can take to secure and winterize your seasonal home up north. Proper planning and maintenance now can help you avoid returning to a house in need of expensive repairs in the springtime.
- Security. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked and that sliding doors are secured with bars. For enhanced security, use dead-bolt locks and security hinges on all outside doors.
- Plumbing. Drain any appliances that hold water (water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.) and make sure your refrigerator and freezer are defrosted and left propped open to prevent the formation of mildew. Toilets, showers, and sink traps should be flushed and protected with a non-toxic antifreeze.
- Heating. Leaving the furnace on can stop the pipes from freezing or bursting, but keep in mind that if it fails, any water in the house could freeze and cause major damages. Set your thermostat to 55 degrees and leave all cabinets and room doors open to help heat circulate to colder sections of the house.
- Cleaning & Repairs. Repair any cracks or holes on the outside walls of the house, and make sure the roof is secure enough for heavy snow. Thoroughly clean the inside of your home to prevent the formation of mold and mildew, and to prevent unwanted pests from making your home their home.
- Other Helpful Tips. Make your home look as though it is being lived in, and ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on the place. Store all valuables in a safety deposit box. Do not announce your departure on social media sites, as this makes your home prone to robbery.
Review your policy with an independent agent to make sure your homeowner policy provides adequate protection while you are away. Contact McGrath Insurance Group at 800-342-3859 or visit our website at www.mcgrathinsurance.com.
*This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.