As the summer season comes to an end, and beach homes are no longer being rented out, owners have the opportunity to see what their home looks like after a busy rental season. The sad truth, is that sometimes the home doesn’t look as new as the owner remembers it, before the wear and tear of the summer.
Wearing of your floors is bound to happen when renting out a beach home. It is safe to say that the home will be exposed to adults, children of all ages, and possibly pets. On top of the natural wear and tear of the floors, accidents are bound to happen – a toddler thinks he is the next Picasso and decides to draw all over the floors – it is hard to prepare for what you don’t see coming.
On top of inspecting for the unexpected damages to floors, owners should also examine their floors and:
- Make sure their transition strips are not pulling up
- Check to see if the grout in the tile is cracking
- Ensure the base boards are not pulling away from the wall
- Inspect the caulking around the base boards for cracking
After inspecting the house, and making the necessary repairs, the winterizing process will begin. Properly preparing your home to withstand the winter means you won’t have to face expensive damage and repairs come next spring.
Power Down. Unplug all devices that don’t need to be kept running, to minimize the risk of an electrical fire or power surge. This goes for appliances of every size – from televisions to toasters. Be sure to defrost your refrigerator and freezer and leave them propped open to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Close valves for any gas appliances, and lower your thermostat to around 55 degrees to conserve energy.
Don’t Be a Target. Check door locks to confirm that latch plates are screwed into the wall studs, and not just the door frame. Ensure that all windows are closed and locked, and secure sliding doors with bars in the track to prevent them from opening. Remember to take any hidden extra keys off of the premises. Secure outdoor furniture in a locked garage or shed, clean up the yard, and trim bushes down. Move any electronics you’re leaving behind out of plain sight, to minimize temptation of anyone who might be looking inside. Lastly, be sure to contact your residential security company and let them know that you won’t be home.
Preventing Water Damage. Considering the most destructive force in a vacant house is water, plumbing should be at the top of your winterizing list. Turn off the water supply to the property, and open all faucets to drain them out. Once drained, turn the valves to the closed position, but leave one faucet open on the lowest level of the home to allow air and excess water to drain. The toilets, showers, and sink traps, should be flushed and protected with antifreeze. Drain any appliances that can hold water – including the washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, and ice maker. Carefully check windows, doors, and pipe openings, caulking any areas that could allow water inside the house. Check your roof and siding to ensure that everything is secure and intact. If a shingle or piece of siding is blown off while the house is unoccupied, you could be faced with severe water damage.
Preparing your beach property for the harshness of winter is an essential task for any seasonal homeowner, and you still have time to get it done. Completely winterize your beach home now, and you can look forward to a pleasant return in the spring.