All good things must come to an end, including summer. And although we’ve had a great run of warm weather here in Eastern LI the last few weeks, it is still time to shut down our summer vacation homes.
There are two important things to protect against when closing down a summer home in the East End and North Fork: weather and “visitors,” especially mice and insects. Freezing temperatures can damage unprotected pipes, lightning can fry expensive electronics and appliances, and pests can get into your mattresses and bedding.
To guard against these problems, here’s a checklist of things to do to shut down your Long Island summer vacation home.
Closing Your North Fork Summer Vacation Home
- Clean each room thoroughly, working your way to the front of the house.
- Cover mattresses and store bedding in protective plastic bags.
- Turn off all circuit breakers, except for the ones that control your furnace/boiler and your home security system.
- Unplug all appliances to reduce vampire power use and guard against a lightning strike, which can fry your appliances and electronics.
- Empty and clean the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards.
- If you do not intend to return to the home until next summer, shut off the water at the main valve. Open all faucets to drain remaining water from the lines, especially outdoors. If you notice any plumbing problems, consider having them taken care of now rather than waiting until next summer.
- Store outdoor furniture and cushions, grills, hoses, and other accessories.
- Empty and store all outdoor garbage cans.
- Lock sheds, outdoor cabinets, and garage doors.
- Lock all house windows, set the alarm, and make sure all doors are locked and secure.
- If your vacation home has an oil furnace or boiler, schedule an oil delivery to make sure the storage tank is at least half full; this will prevent a build up of condensation inside the tank. Condensation encourages bacteria growth in your fuel, which will thicken the fuel into a system-clogging sludge.
- If you have left your water main on, turn down your heat but do not shut it off entirely! This will prevent problems with frozen or bursting pipes. If you want to maintain control of your heating system from afar, consider installing a Wi-Fi thermostat.
- If you have a central air conditioning or ductless mini-split A/C system in your home, consider getting your routine A/C maintenance out of the way now rather than next summer, when technicians are busy (and when you’ll really need that A/C!).
Need someone to look after your Eastern LI vacation home this winter? Trust the pros at Burt’s Reliable. Nearly 2,000 customers leave their keys with us so we can look after their home during the off-season – to join them, contact us today!