Wintertime Vacation

By January 26, 2018 Personal Insurance

Winter got you down? Have you decided to fly south? We don’t blame you! Whether you’re flying south for the winter or just leaving for the week, make sure to prep your home while you’re gone. This will help you avoid damage and be able to come back to your home to find it just the way you left it.

If you’re going on a short trip:

  • Make sure windows and doors are securely locked.
  • Leave an outside light on (a motion-sensored light is ideal).
  • Put food away and clear out all crumbs so rodents and ants don’t take up residence.
  • Unplug small appliances and shut off computers to prevent fire hazards and save on electricity.
  • Put lights on timers.
  • Stop mail service or arrange for a trusted neighbor to pick it up.

If you’re going on a longer trip or closing down a vacation home:

  • Pour a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water into drains if your home is in a freeze area. (Check with the sewer company first—it may have a nontoxic alternative.)
  • Drain water from the plumbing system and turn off water at the main line if you’re closing a home during the winter season. Complete this task to prevent a pipe from springing a leak, even if you don’t expect pipes to freeze.
  • Leave the furnace on low. In areas with high winter humidity, mold and mildew can grow, so you should leave the furnace on at a low temperature (55), rather than turning it off entirely.
  • Bring in lounge chairs, umbrellas, grills, toys, garden hoses and other outdoor items.
  • Store outdoor equipment in a locked shed. If your home has a satellite dish, disconnect it and bring it inside.
  • Trim trees away from the house and clean out the rain gutters. Put shutters on windows if necessary.
  • Cover your whole-house attic fan with heavy plastic if the house is idle in winter. Follow manufacturer instructions for outdoor air conditioner care and maintenance.
  • Give a set of keys, along with your contact information, to a trusted local contact or hire a security company to check on your place occasionally.
  • Hire a gardening service or neighbor to mow the grass or remove snow if you will be gone for an extended period of time.

Have questions? We can help you think about keeping your home safe and about how your ERIE homeowners insurance policies can protect your regular home or your vacation home. Give us a call. 410-897-9890

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