7 Keys for Shuttering Your Summer Home

By the beginning of fall, once the warm weather comes to end, second-homeowners around the country begin the process of closing up their summer abodes. When leaving your vacation home for any extended length of time, it’s important to winterize the property to help ensure that it’s in great shape upon your return. Before departing for the season, there are a few essential things you can do to help protect your house through the cold months ahead.

  1. Evaluate

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    Check for Damages Closing Summer House

    To avoid facing any last minute obstacles, a few weeks prior to leaving, start evaluating the condition of the property. Examine the exterior closely, checking the foundation, siding and trim for cracks and crevices. After inspecting the entire home for damages, from top to bottom, inside and out, arrange to have repairs made.

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  2. Clean the Gutters

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    Clean Gutters

    It may be the one of the most overlooked seasonal maintenance tasks, but it’s definitely one of the most important. Clean the gutters, making sure that rain and snowmelt run freely away from the base of the house.

    Related: 10 Reasons to Mind Your Gutters Year-Round

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  3. Inspect the Roof

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    Roof Inspection

    Carefully using a ladder or binoculars, check the roof for any raised shingles. If there are any signs of damage or wear, make repairs accordingly. Also, be sure to inspect the eaves, where the roof overhang meets the house. Pests seeking to nest will look for refuge in the solar-warmed spaces of house attics.

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  4. Shut Off Power and Gas

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    Turn Off Power

    Electricity should be shut off at the main, leaving only circuits that control necessities such as the alarm system. In addition, unplug all appliances to prevent possible damage caused by lightning. While gas should also be turned off at the main, the safer option would be to have the service temporarily suspended. 

    Related: These Electrical Safety Tips Could Save Your Life

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  5. Turn Off Water Supply

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    shut off water to house

    All the water pipes need to be drained. Turn off the main water supply and working your way from the top of the house to the bottom, open all the faucets and leave them open. Remember to also drain the supply hoses to indoor and outdoor outlets as well.

    Related: 15 Places Water Damage May Be Hiding in Your Home

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  6. Clean the Rooms

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    Clean the Rooms

    Clean out all the closets and cabinets and leave them open to ventilate. All the bedding should be removed and stored away. However, still be sure to cover all the mattresses to prevent any unwanted burrowing animals. 

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  7. Go Through the Pantry

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    Food Preservation

    Since food can attract unwanted animals, it is crucial to thoroughly clean the kitchen. Store all non-perishable food in air tight containers and relocate cans to the basement or bring them back to your primary residence.

    Related: Start Fresh: 10 Things in Your Kitchen You Need to Toss ASAP

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  8. Don't Miss!

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    There's no shame in asking for (or hiring) help. In fact, with some humdrum home maintenance tasks, doing it yourself doesn't do you any good. Read on!