You’ve moved to your new home but have yet to sell your former property. What should you do to ensure the safety and security of the vacant house?
1. Set the thermostat at no lower than 15.5 degrees to prevent frozen pipes. If necessary, your Realtor can turn up the heat the day before a showing, but not by much as sudden shifts in temperature can also damage pipes. If you have oil heat, check the level on your tank so it doesn’t run out.
2. Another tip to avoid frozen pipes: Leave faucets dripping ever so slightly.
3. Check the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Some automatically send a signal to local authorities even if a home is empty.
4. Add a lock-bar in the pane of sliding windows for extra protection.
5. Install a timer on lights to give the appearance that the home is occupied.
6. Stop your mail and ask a neighbor to scoop up flyers, takeout menus or phonebooks that may accumulate on your porch.
7. Check your weather stripping for cracks or tears and replace worn-out strips. You’ll keep out mold-producing moisture and prevent critters from setting up shop.
8. Unplug any appliances. It saves energy and also prevents dangerous short circuits. Prop open freezer or fridge doors a crack to prevent potential mold buildup.
9. Let your neighbors know your home will be empty, and how they can reach you and your Realtor in case of an emergency or if things just don’t look right.
10. Clean the gutters. Clogs can cause water to freeze and tear away from your home.
11. Arrange to have your yard mowed regularly and weeds tended to during warmer months.
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