If a home experiences a loss and no one is there, is there still damage?
Ok, philosophy questions aside, leaky pipes or ceilings, broken windows from wind-blown storm debris, or break-ins by thieves or vandals often go unnoticed in vacant homes. This means damage can spread, multiplying the severity and costs to repair once it is eventually discovered. Vacant home owners can save a great deal of trouble and financial burden through some periodic maintenance.
Blog Repost: Keeping Your Vacant Property Safe & Secure
Top 12 Maintenance Checks for a Vacant Home
Before leaving your vacation home or other property for an extended period of time, perform the following maintenance tasks to keep things safe and ready for your return:
- Clean the Kitchen – Prevent bad odors, mold and more by making sure the trash is empty and cleaning the sinks and drains.
- Clean & Inspect your HVAC – A good duct cleaning and professional inspection is recommended. At the very least, change all air filters and check to make sure all components are running smoothly and free of leaves or other debris.
- Take Precautions with Electricity – Before departing, unplug all electrical appliances; including TVs, Wi-Fi routers, cable boxes, cell phone chargers, and large appliances. For long absences, unplug your empty refrigerators and freezers.
- Clean Gutters & Inspect the Roof – This helps to keep leaks from entering your home from clogged gutters and downspouts, or other damaged places on the roof. Make any necessary repairs before leaving.
- Trim Trees & Shrubbery – Remove dead trees or overhanging limbs that could possibly fall on the house or through a window.
- Inspect Doors & Windows – Be sure all doors and windows are closed and sealed tightly to prevent water or air leaks that could tax your HVAC system. This will also help keep pests from getting inside.
- Adjust Thermostats – Not only will keeping your vacant home at a moderate temperature prevent pipes from freezing and mold from growing, it can also save your overall energy costs.
- Care for Your Plants – Provide adequate water and sunshine to keep your plants healthy by either moving them inside or outside before you leave.
- Check for Plumbing Problems – Don’t leave for an extended time with clogged or slow drains. Clean these out thoroughly and disinfect them to prevent unpleasant odors.
- Turn Off Gas – Any interior gas appliances or fixtures should be shut off and the gas supply to them completely closed to prevent the risk of fire or explosion.
- Stage Lighting – Leave a few indoor and outside lights on to keep your property safe and unattractive to burglars. Timers to turn lights on and off are inexpensive and can give an appearance of occupancy to deter crime.
- Monitor from a Distance – If possible, ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property and call you or the police when something appears amiss. You can also install smart cameras inside and outside to watch your property from any location. Movement can trigger an alert on your smartphone, where you can view your home through the cameras at any time.
Florida Vacant Home Insurance
Even with the best preparations, accidents or other events can happen and cause damage to your vacant property. Florida Vacant Home Insurance from American Integrity Insurance is designed to protect vacation homes or other properties that are only used on occasion.
Contact us today and speak with an agent about Florida vacant home insurance for your valuable property.
American Integrity Insurance is committed to providing Florida homeowners with sound, comprehensive insurance coverage and an extraordinary customer experience. We strive to be a valued partner to our policyholders, agents, and community. We offer traditional and high valued homeowners insurance, condo insurance, renters insurance, and the special coverage required for vacant homes, manufactured homes, and policies designed for those who need less coverage or are renting out their home. We also offer extra protection, including flood insurance, umbrella insurance, golf cart insurance, boat insurance, cyber coverage and identity theft protection as well as equipment breakdown coverage, to help address a broad range of needs facing Florida homeowners