Maintenance for your vacation or second home is pretty much the same as for your primary residence. There are a few reasons why you may need to take a few extra measures with your second home. You are most likely away from your vacation home for periods of time and, if you have nearby neighbors, they may be away from their homes during the same intervals. Many vacation homes are situated 'away from it all' so, if something were to happen to your home, it's possible no one would notice until too late.
For that reason it is a good idea to have a house sitter who can keep an eye on your house. As well as keeping an eye on things in general there are a few other ways a sitter could assist you. If you leave the plumbing on it is a good idea for someone to run the water once every four to six weeks.
A regular check of the interior is also a good idea. Wildlife may like your home as much as you do and can cause a lot of damage. Periodic inspections for intrusion of vermin and pests can prevent a lot of damage. Inspecting for water damage by looking for spots on the walls and ceilings is a also a good idea. Minimal plumbing problems can result in significant damage if not caught early.
Here is a quick check list for those times when you expect to leave your home empty for an extended period of time.
- Lock all doors, windows and points of entry using dead bolt type locks
- Remove all valuable items from your home
- Turn off water connections to faucets, toilets, washer, water heater, dishwasher, etc.
- Leave faucets open
- Turn the heat down (turn it off only if water is shut off and pipes, water heater, etc. are drained and anti-freeze is added to all sewerage traps)
- Check the proper operation of your alarm system
- Forward mail to your regular address