How to Get Your Vacation Rental Ready for Winter
Vacation properties need attention when the seasons change much as regular homes do. The owner must complete certain tasks or have someone do them on their behalf. This ensures the home is always ready for guests. What are some steps a person should take to prepare the vacation property for winter weather?
Keep the Home Occupied
The best way to deter criminals is to have an occupied home. If the owner cannot be present, consider using property management services to rent the residence. However, there may still be periods when the home is unoccupied. Keep it safe by installing a security system, and never store valuables in an unoccupied property.
Install motion detectors lights around the property, and use timers for lamps inside the home. When lights go on and off in a home at different times throughout the day, burglars will usually avoid the property. They don’t want to encounter someone when committing a crime. Stop mail deliveries, and ask a neighbor to pick up any things left on the front door. This helps to make the home look occupied.
Protect the Plumbing System
Nobody wants to deal with frozen pipes or water damage freezing pipes create. Take steps to prevent this from happening. One option is to drain all the water from the plumbing system. If there is no water present, it cannot freeze. However, if the home will be occupied at any time during the winter, consider installing insulating tape or foam sleeves to reduce the risk of the pipes freezing in extremely cold weather. In addition, keep the house at 55 degrees or warmer, as this will help to keep water from freezing in the pipes. Some experts say it is best to keep the home warmer.
Remove the Risk of a Pest Invasion
A homeowner may leave their vacation property and expect it to remain unoccupied until they return. However, an empty home is an ideal spot for pests to take up residence. To make the home less inviting to unwanted visitors, thoroughly clean it to remove errant crumbs and moisture that may attract pests. Clean and defrost the refrigerator before unplugging it. However, leave the doors open. Otherwise, mildew could form in the unit.
Walk around the home to see if there are any openings pests could use to access the residence, and seal those openings. Many people forget to close the fireplace flue only to return months later to find they have a problem with bats, birds, and squirrels in the home. It never hurts to have the chimney cleaned before the winter months to ensure no birds have made a nest in the flue.
Stock the Home with Essentials
Some people choose to spend their free time at their vacation rental. For this reason, the home should always remain stocked with basic supplies. Extra batteries are needed in case the power goes out, and the home should have wood for the fireplace or wood stove. This heat will be appreciated when the temperature drops and the power goes out in the home. Other items to keep on hand include shovels, flannel sheets, and ice melt. With the right supplies, a person can stay cozy in the home for days.
Once the home is ready for winter, the owner can sit back and relax. However, many people take this time to assess the property and determine where changes are needed. The winter months are ideal for planning updates to the home, so use this time wisely and have an excellent vacation property anyone would enjoy.