The Outer Banks is your happy place. You reminisce about vacations past and imagine future ones spent relaxing on the beach with no responsibilities other than to spend the afternoon doing more of the same. You wanted your children, friends, and family to spend joyful summers without a care in the world, so you purchased the perfect vacation home. Now it is everyone’s happy place!
Life on our wonderful island means expecting the unexpected. A serenelyperfect, sun filled beach day, complete with gentle ocean waves and a cool breeze, can easily be followed by a raging storm with fierce rains and thirty-plus mph winds the next day. Be prepared, and protect your cherished investment with these important tips to ensure that your home is properly closed for the season.
- Bring all of your outside furniture, grills, hammocks, and swings, into your enclosed storage space. Outer Banks winters can be, and often are, extremely windy. You don’t want to lose your furniture, or even worse, damage your or someone else’s property when a beach chair goes flying through the air. If your home does not have an enclosed storage space, a screened porch or other protected location will suffice.
- Winterize your plumbing, before there is a problem and your pipes freeze! Especially if your home is on stilts. Once a pipe is frozen, it may burst once it thaws, leading to potentially massive water loss and damage. You might also consider turning off your water supply completely, at the main, especially if you will not be returning to your home until spring.
- Do a thorough home inspection. Repair any loose fencing, siding, shutters, etc. to prepare for the very likely strong winter winds. If it isn’t practical for you to do the repairs yourself, Xpert Home Services is here for all of ye maintenance needs, no matter how small the repairs.
- Turn off the circuit breaker for your home’s hot water heater.
- Clean your house. That’s right, if you clean your house now, it will save you trouble down the road. The last thing you want to do when you arrive back at your vacation home is to dive in to cleaning mode instead of relaxing. Plus, cleaning before you close up for the season will provide you a time to inspect everything and make sure nothing is left behind that could rot or create a mold problem while you’re away.
- Turn off your home’s propane or natural gas. If it’s not in use, it’s a good idea to close off lines to fuel for safety reasons.
- Prevent potential water damage by ensuring that your home’s gutters are cleared and completely free of debris. In addition to being windy, Outer Banks winters are often also quite rainy, making it important that water can flow quickly away from your home.
- It is fairly common for beach houses to have pests…water bugs are especially pesky. If you have ever seen them in your home, it is best to schedule regular pest control treatments through the winter.
- Remove all food from cupboards and pantry. Empty cupboards are less likely to attract those above-mentioned pests. Clean out the refrigerator(s) and (s) completely, with a cleaning solution of vinegar, water, and baking soda. Unplug it, and prop the door open.
- If you leave your main electrical supply on, unplug all appliances including microwaves and TV’s.
- If your home has a pool, it must be properly winterized by a professional. The team at Xpert Home Services is certified and ready to help your pool and spa needs. Hot tubs must be thoroughly drained of water.
- Set up a local contact. This could be a friendly neighbor, or a team member at Xpert Home Services who will monitor the property in the winter for maintenance and security concerns. Having someone nearby you can trust with your investment home on the Outer Banks is important, especially during the winter months.
With just a little preparation and preventative maintenance, your getaway-from-it-all beach oasis will continue to bring you and your family relaxation and joy for many years to come!
For more tips like this, check out the Xpert Home Services blog!