Before You Close Your Vacation Home: A Checklist

long island vacation homesSummer’s passing quickly here in the East End, and soon it will be time to close down your seasonal Long Island getaway for the year. Just be sure to take care of all the little things you need to do to avoid bigger headaches later!

Here’s a quick checklist of things to do to prevent unwanted surprises when you return to your second home next year.

Winterizing Your Seasonal Home

Check and replace pest traps. Pests can do some real damage in the offseason; prevention is key.

Take care of your landscape. Inspect the grounds for damage. Mow the grass and prune/trim overgrown trees and bushes. Store exterior furniture.

Go dark. Turn off all lights, fans, and other non-essential appliances. If you want to give the appearance that someone is in the house, put some indoor and outdoor lights on a timer.

Unplug appliances. Power outages happen in winter – and restoring power after an outage can sometimes lead to a surge that can fry appliance and even create a fire risk. Unplug your appliances and you’ll avoid this problem – plus, you’ll save money by avoiding power usage by your home’s “energy vampires” (appliances that draw current simply by being plugged in). If you plan to unplug your refrigerator (a good idea), empty and defrost it before departing so you don’t leave a puddle of standing water behind.

Turn the thermostat down, but not off. Turn down your thermostat to 55 degrees, but don’t turn it completely off; this, along with shutting your water main, will help you prevent frozen pipes and avoid a build-up of moisture in your home. Also, make sure your thermostat is set for “auto” rather than “on” to prevent your blower fan from running 24/7. A great option for a second home is to install a Wi-Fi thermostat, which enables you to control your HVAC equipment from your cell phone.

Turn off your water heater. If you have an electric water heater, shut it down at the breaker so it’s not keeping your reserve hot water warm when you don’t need it.

Turn off the water main. Your pipes won’t freeze if there’s no water in them. Open up all your faucets to prevent pressure buildup from the little bit of water that remains in your pipes.

Batten down the hatches. Close shutters and install storm windows if you have them.

Take care of plumbing problems. If you have any issues with your plumbing, take care of them before you leave for the season; they almost always get worse when you’re away.

Contact year-round neighbors. If you have neighbors that stay beyond the summer, let them know how to reach you in case of emergency. If you want us to manage your property while you’re away, we can do that, too. Leave your keys with us and we’ll make sure you have enough fuel and even winterize your home by shutting down the water, tuning up the equipment and keeping your home ready to go when you return in the spring.

Call us – If you are an automatic heating oil delivery customer, let us know if you’re leaving. Your delivery date is based on an estimate of your past heating oil use – if you aren’t around using heating oil, that estimate will be off, and you’ll get an unnecessary delivery. We can also take care of any plumbing issues and even get your annual maintenance out of the way before you go.

Enjoy a worry-free winter with services from Burt’s reliable! Contact us today to learn more about, or to get reliable plumbing service, heating service, and more for your North Fork or East End, LI getaway home.