With last year’s polar vortex fresh in the minds of many Americans, the flock of snowbird travelers could grow considerably this season as folks head to the sunny states. Whether families spend a couple of weeks or the majority of the winter in a different state, preparing a residence for a prolonged absence is important. Snowbird travelers must protect their homes from the forces of nature and potential burglars or trespassers.
Protect your home before you fly the coop with these tips.
1. Forward mail, stop newspapers and have a neighbor collect fliers. A house with mail and papers piling up is a sure sign the owners have flown the coop.
2. If absent during the growing season, snowbird homeowners must make sure someone is mowing the lawn. This maintains the appearance that someone is in the residence and keeps the property in compliance with local ordinances.
3. Ensure motion sensing exterior lights are working, some interior lights are on timers and alarm systems are activated.
4. Close fireplace flus to prevent birds, bats and rodents from making their way indoors.
5. Clean the kitchen and pantries before leaving. Even a small amount of garbage or loose food could be signal to bugs that the buffet is open.
6. For season-long trips, it’s a good idea to unplug and defrost freezers and refrigerators and turn off the water.