Lake Greenwood lakefront homes for sale are prized for their location. But if you don’t intend to occupy your home year round, here are some offseason maintenance tips to help protect your investment during the winter.
- Turn the gas and water off
- Drain the waterlines
- Empty the fridge
- Keep pests away
- Secure your personal belongings
- Inspect the property
- Team up with your neighbors
This ensures that your utilities aren’t running while you’re away. Shutting down the gas hot water heater before draining the waterline can help prevent accidents, while turning off the water supply will prevent leaks, which can destroy flooring and furniture when left unattended.
If you really must leave the power on, at least make sure that all your electronics are unplugged, particularly those that are plugged directly onto the wall. This will protect your appliances from a power surge and lightning strikes when you’re away. For appliances that are plugged into surge protects, you can just flip the switch off.
Unplugging electronics and turning off the surge protector also helps you conserve energy. Electronics draw power even when they’re not in use – the Department of Energy estimates that the average family spends $100 a year on power for devices that either off or on standby mode.
Mild winters mean that South Carolinians don’t usually have to worry about frozen pipes. But on rare occasions when the temperature dips, it’s better to be safe than sorry. More so for lake homes that had been built before modern plumbing codes, as well as lake homes with exposed piping.
High winds that continually blow against pipes can also cause them to freeze and burst.
So before you leave your lake home, drain all your waterlines, including the toilets, water heaters, and expansion tank.
If you have unused or leftover food, either consume or dispose of them before you leave. The same goes for other perishables, such as sauces, condiments and fruit concentrate that are near expiration.
You can store frozen meat for over a year at 0°F, so if you want to stash meat for that long, keep the freezer on. The meat might thaw and go bad if the power goes out while you’re away, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you have a back-up power generator.
Pests not only make your lake home an unpleasant place to live, they can also cause damage to the structure. Keep rodents away by emptying the trash bins and removing food sources. Even small bits of food, such as crumbs and syrup trails, can attract mice.
Other food sources include candles, sponges, and soap, so get rid of these items before closing up your home, or store them in airtight containers.
Mosquitoes are another problem – being a lake area, Greenwood has several breeding spots. Get rid of mosquito larvae by draining stagnant water, taking out your potted plants, and checking under the sink for leaked water.
If you believe you have a pest problem, it’s worth investing in the services of a professional pest control company before closing up for the winter.
If you’ll be away for an extended period, it’s best not to leave any valuables, like huge sums of cash, jewelry, and expensive gadgets, behind. Otherwise, invest in a heavy duty safe and make sure that only you and the people you trust know the pass code for the padlock.
Before you leave, make sure all entry points in the home, garage, and yard are locked and secure. Consider upgrading to a smart home security system that will allow you to monitor the property with your smartphone. You may also rent a temperature controlled unit at a storage facility for valuable items that need to be protected from moisture, direct sunlight, and extremes in temperature.
Artworks, leather goods, and valuable furniture are just some temperature- sensitive items that should be stored properly.
After everything has been down, do one final survey of the property to see if anything’s amiss. Make an inventory of the items on the property, as well as a list detailing any repairs that might be needed before you lock up for the winter, or after you come back.
Let the neighbors know that you’ll be away so that they’re aware that the home is unoccupied. If you have a good relationship with them, ask to check on the property from time to time. Leave them your contact details so they can let you know if anything unusual takes place.