Now that we’re into November and you’ve probably gotten every last bit of use out of your beach house, it’s time to think about how to safely close your home for the winter. We’ve put together a checklist to help walk you through the big jobs and the often-overlooked details to ensure your home stays in great shape until next year.
- As the weather is getting colder, you’ve probably already had your last weekend at your beach house. It's important to have the water drained from your home before temperatures dip below freezing. It's best to give your plumber plenty of notice to ensure they're able to drain your house in time. If you’re delaying closing up for the season thinking you could possibly get one more weekend in at your home, this leaves the door open to a mad rush for the plumbers when word comes of the first freeze of the season, so plan accordingly.
- Bring your bikes, wagon, and BBQ inside for the winter to prolong their lifespan. Many homeowners lay down a large tarp to protect their floors and then move the majority of their outdoor furniture inside to protect it for the winter.
- Leave nothing in the house that can attract pests. This includes all foods including cereal, sugar, breads, crackers, and even birdseed. Soaps and shampoos should also be removed from the premises, or at a minimum, tightly secured in a plastic bin with strong latches.
- It's best to remove your canned food, bottled water, soda, wine and beer, as it will freeze and could burst its container. Liquors with high alcohol content will not freeze, so are okay to store.
- Most cleaners and powders can be left under the kitchen sink.
- Some utility providers will allow you to suspend services for the winter months. Do not have PSEG turn off your electric until your plumber has finished draining your home. Your electric needs to be on in order for the plumber to run their pumps. You can just turn off the main electric breaker for the winter rather than turning off your account, however you'll still be charged a small monthly minimum service fee.
- Make sure that your chimney has a cap to prevent animals from getting into your house. During the cold winter months, animals will seek shelter wherever they can find it, so it is important to make sure that all openings to your home are secure.
- Make sure not to block access to your water heaters and washing machines, whether they're located inside your house or in your shed. You’ll need to have them drained so there should be access to them.
- If you bag up your linens for the off season, put a few dryer sheets in the bags to absorb any residual moisture and keep them smelling fresh.
Even though most residents depart for the winter months, we're here year round for all of your real estate needs. If you find yourself in Ocean Beach stop in and say hello! Even if you can't make it here, you can keep up with the local goings on about town on our facebook and instagram.