As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, the time goes to stop enjoying your vacation home and start preparing it for winter. Whether you invest in house watching services or just want to learn how to winterize a vacation home, having a clear plan to keep your home safe during the winter is key.
We’re sharing our best tips to properly winterize a vacation home here in the Hamptons or anywhere else. Keep reading for the house cleaning services, property management services, landscaping services and house watching services you’ll need to keep your vacation home in good condition all winter long.
How to Winterize a Vacation Home – Preparing Your Property
Before you can start looking into house watching or house sitting services, it’s important to ensure you’ve done all the prep work to keep your home safe and in good condition during the winter months – particularly if you won’t be visiting your vacation home again until the spring.
Keep reading for some of the most important winterizing activities both inside and outside of your home.
The last thing you want is fallen leaves clogging up your gutters and causing rain and melting ice to leak into your attic or home! Regular gutter cleaning is important throughout the year, but especially when preparing to winterize your vacation home!
There are many tools available to make DIY gutter cleaning easier, as well as gutter cleaning services that can take the work off your to-do list completely. By hiring a gutter cleaning company in The Hamptons or in your area, you can also ensure your gutters are checked throughout the winter and spring seasons – even if you’re not spending time at your vacation home!
If you’re working on winterizing your vacation home, add window washing to your list! Not only will window washing help make moving back into your home after winter easier, it can also help spot any potential issues with your windows that could lead to cold air or water getting into your home while you’re away.
If you don’t want to spend your fall washing windows – or don’t have the right equipment – hiring a window washing service can take this time consuming work off your plate so you can focus on other things.
Spending time cleaning up your yard is one of the most important things you can do to winterize a vacation home. Leaving piles of leaves, sticks and other debris in your yard all winter can leave you with a soggy mess – and a damaged lawn – when you return in the spring.
And in some cases, failing to do proper yard work can actually leave your home at risk of damage during winter storms. It’s important to trim back any bushes or trees that are near your home and windows to reduce the risk of broken windows or damaged siding during snow, ice and wind. And look for damaged trees or low-hanging branches that could cause damage to your roof, wires or other parts of your property.
Hiring a property management company can ensure that your yard is well inspected and cleared while winterizing your vacation home and that any potential issues are taken care of before the cold weather sets in.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your vacation home in the spring only to find it was slowly filling with leaking water all winter! Roof leaks can lead to extensive damage and sky-high construction bills. By investing in a roof inspection when winterizing your home, you’ll save yourself the headache – and the cost! – of roof damage in the spring.
A roofing contractor or property management service should be able to inspect your roof and check for any signs of damage or leaks. Fix these issues before the snow and ice start piling up to ensure your home is protected.
Hire a Handyman
It’s never a bad idea to have a good handyman in your contacts, but that’s especially true when you’re working to winterize a vacation home.
A good handyman service can help you with just about any challenges you run into with winterizing your home, including:
- Carpentry work and repairs
- Paint touch-up projects
- Fixing door knobs and hinges
- Power washing
- Attic, basement and garage clean-up
- Deck maintenance
- Other home improvement projects
Ask your handyman to do a quick home inspection and look for things like leaking faucets, broken siding, leaking windows, broken gutters and small cracks, holes or other spaces that could invite animals to spend the winter in your attic or walls!
Invest in House Cleaning Services
No one wants to come back after a long winter to a messy house! And not properly cleaning while winterizing a vacation home could actually lead to bigger problems than a stressful return: like moldy food, strong odors and property damage.
A house cleaning company can sweep, vacuum and mop your floors, clean and remove old food from your cabinets, fridge and freezer, defrost your refrigerator and freezer to prevent leaks and save on energy, wash all linens, clean bathrooms, empty trash and even organize closets and other storage areas.
Finding a Hamptons house cleaning service or services in other vacation home regions can ensure this work gets done in a timely and professional manner.
How to Winterize a Vacation Home – Locking Up
Once you’ve prepared your home and property by focusing on yard maintenance, house cleaning and handyman services, it’s time to get ready to lock up! Focus on these tasks to ensure your home is protected over the winter months, particularly if you don’t visit your vacation home until spring.
Heating & Water Systems
Having your heating system inspected and cleaned is always a good idea, but it’s especially important before leaving your home for the winter. If you have a chimney, have that inspected and cleaned, too, and make sure it’s not accessible to any animals.
Be sure to take careful care of your water supply, too. Unless your home is protected by a sprinkler system, turn off the water supply.
Drain your pipes by opening all your faucets and flush your toilet to clear all water from the tank and bowl. Pouring antifreeze into the toilet tank and bowl can prevent any remaining water from freezing during the cold winter months.
Close your sink and tub drains and make sure to shut off and drain all outdoor water faucets. If you’ve hired a handyman service or property management company, they can help you with this process.
Test Smoke Detectors and Other Home Alarms
Keeping your home protected is key when you’re working on winterizing a vacation home. So before leaving make sure to test all smoke detectors and replace any batteries as needed. If you have an alarm system, activate that, too, and make sure it’s properly monitoring all of your doors and windows. And be sure to lock all windows and doors before activating your alarm.
Contact Your Local Police Department
If your home will be vacant all winter, it’s important to inform your local police department. They can keep an eye on your property when in the area, and will take notice if there is sudden activity at your property.
Forward Your Mail
If you typically receive mail at your vacation home during the summer months, be sure to contact the Postal Service to forward any mail to your permanent address. You can also reach out to any companies that send you mail to your vacation home and change your address, if needed.
Keep Your Property Safer with House Watching Services
Even if you’ve taken every precaution and prepared to winterize your vacation home, things sometimes go wrong. A rogue branch can fall during a heavy storm and damage your roof. An ice dam can form on your roof and cause a major leak. An electrical issue could cause a fire.
And while there may not be much we can do to stop these kinds of accidents from happening, hiring a house watching company or investing in house watching services can help catch problems faster – and make it easier to stop further damage.
What Does A Hamptons House Watching Company Do?
When you hire a Hamptons house watching service – or any other house watching company in your area – you can have true peace of mind while away from your home. House watching services typically include weekly visits to your property throughout the winter months – or any other extended period when you’re away from your home. After a storm, house watching services typically visit your property daily to ensure there are no major issues.
House watching companies will conduct internal and external checks of your home, looking for things like:
- Running out of oil
- Frozen pipes
- Boiler equipment issues
- Unwelcome pests or critters
- Fallen branches or wires
If an issue is found, a house watching company will contact you immediately, as well as take any initial steps needed to stop property damage.
How to Find the Right House Watching Services
There are many house watching services and house watching companies in the Hamptons and in other popular vacation areas. So how do you choose the best house watching company for you?
It all comes down to your unique property needs. Some companies specialize in house watching alone, while other companies offer house watch services in conjunction with property management services, house cleaning services and handyman services.
If you want your house watching company to be able to not only alert you to issues with your property but also begin taking immediate action to reduce property damage, finding a full-service house watching and property management company is your best bet.
Be sure to ask how often a house watching company will check on your property, too, and get clear on how often you’ll receive updates on your home. This will go a long way toward improving your peace of mind!
How to Winterize a Vacation Home and Be Ready for a Better Spring
When you work with a property management company or house cleaning company to winterize a vacation home, you can look forward to an easier, more enjoyable spring moving back into your home.
And you can rely on the same professionals to help you take care of any spring clean-up needs, from yard work and landscaping to housecleaning, window washing and minor repairs that may be needed after a long winter.
Are you ready to look forward to a more protected property and a happy return to your vacation home? Be sure to contact A Votre Service’s Hamptons house cleaning and Hamptons property management company today to learn more about our cleaning services, handyman services and house watching services.