Heading back up north after enjoying a warm winter here in the Sunshine State? Leaving your home for months at a time can be a bit unsettling, to say the least. We want to put your mind at ease with tips that will help ensure your home is protected from unexpected perils such as a potential theft or fire.
Before you fly north this spring, be sure to follow these helpful hints to help keep your nest safe and sound!
- Turn off your water supply
There is less of a chance you will sustain any kind of water damage if you turn your water off entirely. Not only can this help protect the pipes from bursting or leaking, it is also a requirement of your policy if your home will be unoccupied for 30 days or more. Refer to this checklist as you prepare to leave your home.
- Have a neighbor check your home
Ask someone who lives near you to swing by and do a quick check of the area surrounding your home. Ask them to get your mail and newspapers so that it doesn’t appear that you’ve been away for an extended period of time. Or better yet, make sure to temporarily discontinue your newspaper delivery and have your mail delivered to a PO Box.
- Inspect your roof and gutters
Keeping up with maintenance on the outside of your home can help prevent excess damage from occurring in the future. Evaluate your roof, making sure all of the shingles are intact and there are no holes that could potentially let in water. The same wear and tear that happens on the interior of your home, happens on the exterior. Clean the gutters from leaves or debris to prevent from further build up. Clearing your yard of any dead trees or large limbs can also help protect your home.
- Be sure all windows and doors are shut
If any windows or doors are not secured or have a faulty lock, now is the time to get them fixed. Installing extra locks or deadbolts will make it more difficult for burglars to break in.
- Hide all valuables
Don’t leave anything valuable in plain sight. Be sure to remove items that someone would want to steal from all open areas of your home. Place everything in a secure place that would be difficult for someone to find. A safe deposit box is also great for holding smaller important items such as a passport.
- Tidy up
Take out any trash and check the inside of your home to make sure you’re leaving it the way you want to come back to it. Close curtains in order to limit visibility into the home. Unplug all appliances to save money on your utility bill and prevent potential electrical issues. Don’t forget about the outside of your home! Even thunderstorms in Florida can bring heavy wind and rain. Be sure to move all of your outdoor furniture to a safe and secure location.
Install an alarm system
The best way to keep thieves away is by having an alarm or camera system installed in your home. Today, there are even apps that will allow you to keep an eye on your home while you’re hundreds of miles away.
Make sure you are properly insured
If your home is regularly unoccupied during the year and potentially for longer than three months, speak with your agent for more information to ensure your policy is correct for your home.
Related blog post: Don’t Risk It. Get Flood Insurance
As your property insurance specialist, we’ll help you protect your “empty nest” while it’s unoccupied – giving you the peace of mind you need and deserve.