Summer homes in Westhampton Beach come in all sizes and prices. Some are cozy getaways, while others are grand estates for billionaires. Both types need special care when closing for the season, but larger homes naturally need more attention than smaller ones. If your home is especially large, or if you’re short on time, consider hiring a company to help with closing and maintaining your home off-season. This is a common practice for summer homes in Westhampton Beach, as it can significantly cut down on your stress and to-do list.
However, if your summer home is low-maintenance, you can easily close it yourself. You might need a whole day to do it, but you’ll save on the costs of hiring help. Here are four areas to focus on when closing your home for the winter.
1. Clean and protect your home from pests
When preparing your home for winter, it’s important to remove or protect anything that could attract bugs and rodents while you’re away. For example, any exposed food is a magnet for pests. This includes crumbs on the floor or a package of dry pasta in a kitchen cabinet.
That’s why thoroughly cleaning your home before you leave is critical. It’ll help prevent pests from moving in while you’re gone.
In addition to cleaning and packing away food, you should consider protecting any mattresses and bedding you’re leaving behind by wrapping them in plastic. This will keep away any critters who could get into them.
Depending on the size of your home, this whole process can be overwhelming. One way to manage the size of the task is to break it down into individual rooms. Start with the rooms farthest away from the entrance and close them off once you’re done cleaning them. This method will make the chore more manageable and prevent you from overlooking areas of your home.
2. Unplug all your appliances and electronics
Unplugging your appliances doesn’t just save electricity; it can also prevent damage if there’s a power surge or lightning strike. That’s why it’s a good idea to unplug your electronics even if you’re turning off your circuit breakers. A lightning strike will affect any electronics that are plugged in, regardless of whether the circuit breakers are on or off.
To make sure you’ve unplugged everything, it can be helpful to make a list of all the electronics in your home. Mentally go through every room of your home, identifying anything that runs on electricity.
In addition to obvious electronics such as your television and telephone, think about larger appliances such as your washer and dryer. Remember that certain appliances, like your refrigerator, will need to be cleaned and left open to air. You may also want to sprinkle baking soda inside to absorb moisture and help prevent mold.
3. Prepare for cold weather
There are two approaches to winterizing a home. One keeps the heater on at a low temperature throughout the winter, while the other turns off the heating and prepares the home for freezing temperatures.
The latter method saves money in theory, as you won’t have a heating bill for your summer home. However, it carries a higher risk that something will need to be replaced or repaired due to freezing. Then, your costs may be the same or higher.
If you do choose to turn off your heater, you’ll also need to turn off your water supply and make sure everything that contains water is emptied. You may want to do this even if your heater stays on, so there will be no risk of water leaks. For a step-by-step guide, check out this useful list from the town of Hopkins, MN.
4. Protect your home from theft and vandalism
Summer homes in Westhampton Beach carry an image of wealth, which can attract criminals looking for easy targets during the off-season. For this reason, it can be worthwhile to invest in a security system that stays on while you’re away. At the very least, you should have secure locks on all the doors and windows.
For added security, you can hire someone to regularly check on your home and maintain the appearance of your property, so it looks lived-in rather than abandoned. These caretakers are common in Westhampton Beach, so you won’t have to look far to find someone reliable.
You could also remove any valuables from your home, so if there is a break-in, you won’t lose anything precious. If you can’t store these valuables in your primary home, you could easily keep them in a self storage unit while you’re gone. There’s a convenient self storage facility in Westhampton Beach that could fit all your valuables, giving you peace of mind during the winter!