Here’s Some Things You Need to Know Before Going Away
Some people think that the only time you need to worry about your home while away is when it’s freezing outside. However, to best keep your home and the things inside safe we recommend you follow some guidelines.
Have Someone Looking Out For You
Extended stays away from home are easier and safer than ever when you live in a mobile home park. These parks are communities where it’s not uncommon for a sizable amount of people to go north for the summer. Also, they are real communities where people build friendships and look out for each other. The number-one thing to do is tell family and close friends about your trip.
Find someone you trust that lives in Florida year-round to look after your property. This doesn’t entail they live in your home or take up a sentry position, they just need to know that if they notice any changes that they should call you.
Landscaping is Important!
Seedy types look for homes that they know are empty, so make sure your property doesn’t look abandoned. The most recommended thing to do is hire a trusted (i.e. an established company) landscaping service to do regular maintenance on your home. A professional landscaper’s presence both serves to keep things looking kept up as well as maintain a level of activity while you’re away.
We know that the landscaping option isn’t available for everybody, whether due to cost or just not having time to set it up. Don’t worry, you can do an overly-enthusiastic trim before you go so things look only slightly overgrown when you come back. Your property might not look as good as the community clubhouse, but it also will be far from the worst when fall comes around.
Make Sure Nothing Builds Up on the Porch
Newspapers, pamphlets, and even forgotten late-night Amazon purchases all tell a person of dubious character one thing, and it’s not that you don’t care about your mail. Make sure you cancel your subscriptions while gone so newspapers don’t build up and your mailbox isn’t packed.
If you want to go a step above, ask that kind soul that’s looking out for your home to go over once in a while to pick up loose promotional detritus. You could also ask your landscaper if they’ll clean up this material in the event you have one.
Run Lights on Timers and Sensors
Hopefully you’re familiar with running lights on wall-mounted timers. If not, the idea is straightforward: a little outlet-mounted timer is plugged into your lamps and turns on and back off at pre-specified times. These timers can be purchased very affordably at Walmart and any reputable hardware store; one lamp per larger, windowed room should do the trick.
Motion detectors on outdoor lights are a must-have in our opinion. You might have discounted the idea because they’re generally expensive or finicky, but now you can buy an LED security light kit for under $40! These kits are relatively easy to put up and draw attention to your home whenever something is snooping around. More often than not you spook stray critters, but that’s not exactly a bad thing either.
Make Sure your Air Conditioner is Working
While it’s tempting to turn everything off and not pay a dime to the power company, it’s best for your home that you have the AC running (plus you want those lights mentioned above). An air conditioner does a lot more than cool a home, it also filters the air and removes moisture. It would be senseless to keep your home comfortably cool the entire time you’re away. It is paramount that your thermostat is set somewhere in the mid-80s so the system kicks on while away.
Storms Still Happen While You’re Away
Florida is the thunderstorm capitol of the US and it’s not uncommon for surges to trip breakers and take out unprotected devices. It’s best practice to unplug everything not in use. Doing this drastically lowers the chance of electrical fire and, more likely, something wasting expensive electricity. Unplug your TVs, computers, and appliances and keep rechargeable devices off their chargers. Also, back up your data as a precaution.
Clean out Fridges and Freezers
Power goes out occasionally, and more occasionally it can be out for a long time. Would you rather have to buy a few groceries when you return or have to kill the monster that’s grown out of your forgotten leftovers marinating in a warm fridge? I think you can agree it’s best to toss the half-used mayo.
Modern appliances are as sensitive to power surges as computers. Having your fridge or even freezer unplugged and cleaned-out will protect them for years to come.
Keep Your Valuables Safe
Having a safe deposit box for jewelry and other precious objects is recommended. While you cherish your family photos and keepsakes, criminals only want what they can pawn. It’s likely you’ll find that you don’t need a big deposit box to protect your stuff. Plus, not having such things in your home can act as a deterrent.
Lock all your doors and windows before you go and double-check them. Test all the locks and replace broken ones. Make sure your things like sheds and outdoor storage containers have locks on them too.
If you have further questions or want recommendations for the Bradenton/Sarasota area, feel free to contact us here.