What Does Closing Up Your Vacation Home Have to Do with Pennies?
If you think about how much technology, electronics and automatic ‘stuff’ is in your home, you might wonder where to begin when closing up your vacation home. Depending on where you live that could mean everything from unplugging small appliances to something more intuitive like cleaning out the fridge or the pantry. In South Florida, we not only have to think about things like humidity and hurricanes but also about the basics. As such, we’ve created a thorough checklist of tasks and items to address before leaving your beloved vacation home.
Now you may be thinking, what does closing up my vacation home have to do with a penny? In unpredictable weather, severe storms and any resulting power outages can happen while you’re away for a few days or completely gone and back in your primary home. For many, that is usually hundreds or even thousands of miles away, so they are unable to simply stop by and check on their property. Additionally, in the event of a power outage, any smart devices would also most likely be unavailable (assuming there’s no generator or if power is restored, equipment doesn’t need to be ‘turned on’). Ultimately, when the power comes back on, you might be unaware and any food you may have left behind could have thawed, gone bad, re-frozen and in the end, left a terrible smell and mess to clean. Ideally, you’ll want to completely empty the refrigerator of any perishables. turn it off and prop open the doors. If you DO want to leave it on, you can always leave items like bottles of water, non- perishables and the like to help retain the cold which allows the unit to use less energy. It’s also very important to shut off the automated ice maker and empty the ice.
So, let’s get to the “penny test”. When you are leaving for the season this will help you get a feel for simple things that can help you keep your home safe and your wallet from being pinched with major repairs or losses of food and more.
First, freeze a small container of water. The container doesn’t need to be filled to the top.
Second, place the penny on top the ice in the container.
After you return home, check the container to see if the ice is solid or melted. If there was a lengthy power outage while you were away, the ice will have melted. Seems obvious right? But how will you know just how severe this could be exactly? Well. the penny will now be at the bottom of the container with the melted water now refrozen on top of the penny. That seems logical right? Well, the added part here is that if you get home and find the penny frozen at the bottom of the ice container chances are the food has been defrosted and refrozen. This is key for things like fish and meat, which are not healthy refrozen and should be disposed of.
There is a laundry list of things to check when leaving your home for short or long periods of time, the ‘penny test’ is just one example and there are many other to consider. From taking photos and/or videos of all valuables to avoiding social media posts alerting people on the internet that you’ll be away, we have a lot of great tips to help you get ready to zip up your home.
Contact us today for the complete checklist and a free evaluation.