Do you manage a community comprised of second homes? Do you have a timeshare or condo you only frequent seasonally? Here are some tips to keep a home safe for those who are away for extended periods. Do you have additional tips for your homeowners? Write them in the comments below.
1. To minimize damage caused by mold and mildew, air conditioners should be set at 70 degrees with the humidistat at 55 percent. Be sure the control remains on the “Cool” setting.
2. Water damage is a major concern, and main water valves should be shut. Open all water faucets to relieve pressure in the lines.
3. Unplug all electrical appliances.
4. If you have an alarm, let your alarm company know that you are going to be away and give them your very nice friend’s contact information.
5. Make sure the smoke detector batteries are in good condition.
6. Check all faucets and make sure they are not dripping.
7. Either put a vacation stop on your mail delivery or notify the post office for mail forwarding. This includes your newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
8. If you have storm shutters, put them in place, unless your association does not allow them to be in place if a storm is not approaching.
9. Remove all items from porches and patios.
10. Remove hidden keys from under the mat, rock or planter near the door.
11. Be careful of what you post on your social networking sites. Tweeting about packing your house for two months is not the brightest thing you should do. If your children are old enough to be online and they are going with you, set some rules about what not to post online.
12. Set up automatic payments or pay your bills in advance.
13. Open closet doors, cabinet doors and furniture drawers to allow for air circulation.
14. Keep appliance doors open. This means you will have to toss food in the refrigerator and freezer.
15. Close drapes and blinds.