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Florida Home Watch Association Member



Tips & Suggestions Prepare Your Home For The Summers In Sarasota

  • Forward all mail deliveries & stop any/all newspapers
  • Shut your water main off during extended periods of absence
  • Set your thermostat between 76-80 degrees and your humidistat between 50-60 percent
  • If you shut off your refrigerator be sure to clean it thoroughly then prop the doors open for air flow.
  • Provide our contact information to any/all other service companies associated with the property. Examples: Lawn, pool, pest control, A/C services.
  • Provide our contact information to full time resident neighbors.
  • Shut all non-essential electrical items of at the breaker. Examples: range, microwave, etc
  • Turn OFF water heater, but do NOT drain it.
  • Turn horizontal window shades/blinds upward to prevent sunlight in to the home, sill and floor areas. Also, keep horizontal shades/blinds about an inch above sills, this promotes air flow behind the blinds as well as leaves a gap to the window sill, something we check each inspection.
  • Place paper towel, non-colored wrapping paper or packaging paper on carpets exposed to sunlight. This occurs generally around sliding glass doors where the blinds extend into the room a few inches leaving carpeting and other materials exposed to the sun.
  • Cover furniture with light inexpensive sheets to prevent dust accumulation. Do not use plastics as they do not breath. Sheets are washable, plastic not so much.
  • It is not necessary to open cabinets unless a particular area of your home is more susceptible to moisture/humidity than others.
  • Do not leave outside lights on at the entry doors or around garage doors, these invite too many insects over long periods of time when a home is unattended. Lights on during the day time is a perfect indicator the home is not occupied.
  • Bring ALL lanai furniture and outside decor that is not secured behind hurricane shutters into your home or garage.
  • It is always a good idea to have one or more interior lights set to timers to give the impression your home is occupied.
  • Lock lanai screened access doors (secure one with an exterior lock for the pool company if you have a pool). Unattended pools are a danger to small children and secluded lanais offer a thief more time to work on entering your home.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with additional locks designed for them which can be purchased at any home improvement store or local hardware company. Unsecured sliding doors offer one of the most vulnerable ways a thief can gain access to your home.
  • Several local companies offer security cages for your exterior A/C unit at very reasonable prices. The copper in these units attract thieves especially if your home is in a secluded neighborhood.
  • Provide at least one A/C filter to be changed during the summer season. There is really no need to change it every 30 days during the summer because there is much less air circulation, coming and going inside the home.
  • Many people place cellophane over their toilets as a precaution to bugs coming up through the sewer system, there are several things to consider about doing this:
    • If you intend on not flushing your toilet during the summer months it would be a good idea to wrap you toilet. Your toilet trap will most certainly dry up and then anything in the sewer system could easily make its way into your home.
    • If you have a home watch flushing your toilet regularly the need for this is much less as the water in the toilet trap will prevent most pests from entering your home. Your risk is no more or less than if you were in the home during the winter.
    • Cutting off air flow encourages mold and mildew to begin to grow
    • Many people put vegetable oil down sinks and/or cups of bleach to prevent the drain traps from drying out and/or insects from entering via the drain system. Again these ideas are good IF you are not having someone systematically running water in the drains to keep them from drying out.
    • Garage items and tools should be cleaned, put away whenever possible and oiled if oiling is a regular part of maintaining an item.
      • Example: a thin coat of oil or WD40 should be wiped onto exposed saw blades, chain saw blades, etc. to prevent rusting.
      • Garage refrigerators should have their exteriors cleaned well and don’t forget their door seals, as seals are the first area to grow mold/mildew.
      • Clean and bring your garbage/recycling bins into the garage or shed to prepare for possible hurricanes.