Buying a home on a mountain range or a secluded lake community to spend the winters can be a great escape for homeowners who need a break from the daily grind. And when it's time to close up a seasonal vacation property, it's important that owners follow the right steps to make sure it's properly maintained and ready for them when they open it back up.
Closing up a vacation home is not a long or tedious process, but it does require homeowners to make some preparations before they leave to make sure the house is protected from weather-related issues.
Shut off utilities
Water damage is one of the most common problems a vacation homeowner may come across if they forget to turn off the water and drain certain appliances. Owners are advised to read the manufacturer's manual relating to their water pump to learn how to properly drain and shut off their pump, according to MSN Real Estate. This is especially true for owners who get their water supply from lakes and wells. In addition to turning off the main pump, it's also crucial to turn off the supply hoses that lead to washers, sinks and other outlets. This is an important step if homeowners do not drain the valves before they shut off the main water supply, as the valves are under pressure and may burst if left unused for an extended period of time. However, draining all water lines before turning off the main supply and shutting off hoses can help alleviate this risk.
In addition to turning off water, it's also important to shut off the gas and electrical circuit breakers. While the gas valves may be visible behind stoves and other heat sources, adults who are unsure about their gas lines should contact a professional to make sure they have turned everything off properly.
Small cleaning tasks go a long way
After all the large utilities are taken care of, it's time to clean out food and garbage that may attract animals, and remove all bedding that may become a nest for insects. In addition, experts recommend covering mattresses and furniture and tilting them to add further protection from critters, according to This Old House.
Owners with patio furniture, grills and lawn tools should also move these items in a storage facility in the event of bad weather or theft. Lastly, make sure the home is sealed and an alarm is set to add one final layer of protection.