Do you enjoy relaxing in your summertime vacation home out in the country?
This is the time of year to make sure those easy days of summer living don’t become a nightmare of hard work and reconstruction when you return next year. Buttoning up the summer home entails a lot more than simply weather-stripping and locking the doors. Proper closing maintenance is paramount in making sure you don’t come back to a disaster that happened while you were away for the winter.
Inspect the roof to make sure it is in good shape with a full spread of shingles. That roof will have to endure a lot during the winter, from possible heavy snowfalls to high winds to critters trying to get inside to keep warm. And speaking of critters, take a close look for any gaps and openings in the roof and walls where unwanted squatters might come in while you are gone. Mice can squeeze through openings only a fraction of an inch wide, so make sure you caulk any potential points of entry.
Water left in pipes is the biggest potential threat to that summer home — frozen water expands and will burst through those pipes. It might not leak immediately, but come the spring thaw those cracks and pinholes will become gushers of running water. Make sure to turn off the water supply main valve and drain all pipes, along with portable shower heads, sink sprayers, humidifiers, toilets and even the water heater tank to remove as much of the water as possible.
Turn off and open refrigerators and freezers, and don’t leave food behind that might attract hungry woods-dwellers in for a meal. Remember not to leave any valuables in plain sight. Take a look through the windows from outside. If you see anything of value, go inside and relocate it or, preferably, take it with you. Don’t leave anything that will make your vacation spot a target for thieves.
For an extra step towards your personal comfort, leave some fresh wood in the wood stove so you don’t have to spend any extra time gathering fuel for a fire when you come back next spring. Chances are it’ll still be a bit chilly when you return, so this will give you a jump on returning to a comfortable climate inside.
For more expert advice on closing down your vacation home, call Family Danz – we will be happy to help.