Leaving Maine for the winter? Here’s what you need to do to ensure your home remains cozy and safe while you’re away:
Turn your Heat Down
Heat should be turned down, but not off. Since it stays below freezing for most of the winter, you don’t want to turn your heat off completely or your pipes might freeze. Experts say that 55 degrees (or a few degrees above) is the optimum temperature.
Turn off your Water
Before leaving Maine for the winter, you need to turn your water off to prevent potential massive amounts of water damage. If your pipes do freeze, turning your water off will limit the liquid available to cause problems; however, if you have a hot water boiler, be sure the system has access to the water it needs to operate.
Set your Alarm
It seems like a no-brainer to set your home’s alarm before leaving Maine for the winter, but you might also want to consider installing security cameras that can be accessed remotely, so you can check up on things.
Update your Insurance
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving all of your valuables unattended for the season, renting a short-term safe deposit box is a good alternative to bringing them all with you. You should also consider informing your insurance company if you will be away longer than a month – as you might need a “vacant home” policy.
Stop or Forward your Mail
If you will be gone less than a month, you can request that your mail simply be stopped. The US Postal Service will forward your mail to your winter address for as few as 15 days or and as long as a year; however, the forwarding system isn’t perfect. Updating important mail to “ebills” will save you the hassle of potential “missing mail.”
Prepare your Cars
If you are planning to leave a car behind, you’ll want to purchase a trickle charger before leaving Maine for the winter, as without one, you might come back to a dead car battery, especially if it sits unused for more than a month. Alternatives are asking a neighbor to start it once a week or so, or disconnecting the battery altogether.
The last thing you want is a call from Maine in the middle of the winter with a home repair emergency. Before you leave, ensure your furnace is in working condition, your gutters are clear, your roof is without leaks, etc. This way, you can enjoy your winter away knowing your home is able to withstand the weather.
Looking for a home this winter? Click here.