If your family heads south during the winter to enjoy sunnier skies and warmer temperatures, then it’s best to properly winterize your home so that you can enjoy your extended stay worry-free. Here are a few ways that Snowbirds can secure their nests while they are away.
Whether it’s through snow blowing, plowing, or shoveling – that snow has gotta go! Leaving the snow to pile up will not only alert the unruly that you are not home, but it’s also eligible for fines, or even lawsuits. According to municipal bylaw, you are responsible for removing snow and ice from your sidewalks and pathways leading to your home or those which are adjacent to your property. Snowbirds can consider hiring a snow removal service or enlist the help of family, friends, and neighbours. Mountview Landscaping also offers snow blowing, shoveling, and plowing services for our clients’ unique needs.
Add Outdoor Lighting
Adding some outdoor lights – festive or not – can really set the scene of a family home that’s bustling with some reasonable activity, even when that family is not home for the winter season! Mountview Landscaping offers lighting services, which include installation for Christmas lights, seasonal displays, or just a few simple touches, like lining a walkway, a driveway, or lighting up the backyard to give the appearance that a family is home. They use energy-efficient systems and include timers and controllers to make it simple and easy – even when you’re not there. Talk to one of our creative lighting designers to see how we can help!
Add Motion Sensors and Set Timers
It’s also a wise idea to consider adding motion sensors to your outdoor property – think about areas like your front door, backdoor, and garage. Set timers for any indoor lights and set them for random intervals throughout different times of the week. Stimulating random human activity will provide the appearance that you are home. Also, give a trusted neighbour a heads up about your travel plans so that they can keep an eye on your property.
Suspend Your Mail & Newspaper Deliveries
Giving the appearance of a lived-in home during the winter months means you must think about any mail you might receive. Mail left in your mailbox is also a great opportunity for identity thieves to steal your personal and financial information. Consider having your mail forwarded to your Snowbird address and suspend any newspaper or magazine deliveries you may receive.
Take Steps to Protect your Home from Thieves
Before you take off, ensure that your alarm systems are in working order and have been activated. Also, secure external doors and windows with deadbolt locks and security-type hinges; and install slide locks, or another equivalent, on sliding glass doors. This is also a good time to store any valuables that you’re not taking with you in a safety deposit box or at another secure offsite location. And a word to the wise, avoid posting your vacation or travel plans on social media, as potential thieves can use that information to learn when your house will be vacant.
Temperature & Pipes
As your home will be empty, you can turn down the thermostat to 55ºF/12ºC. It is not recommended to shut the heat off completely, especially in our chilly Canadian climate, as this could result in burst pipes. If you are able, turn off the water supply to dishwashers and washing machines, as well as any outdoor water supply. Should a pipe burst or leak while you’re away, it can cause significant damage. You can consider turning off the water supply completely, or at the very least, turn down your water heater. According to the Government of Canada, your water heater is responsible for 19.3%* of the total energy used.
All Set for Sunnier Skies
Once you have completed all these steps, you are ready to enjoy your vacation in a much warmer and sunnier climate! Mountview Landscaping is proud to offer more than 25 years of experience in property management and landscaping services. We serve local communities in and around London, Kitchener, and Brantford with snow removal, grounds maintenance, landscape lighting, and lots more, and are always happy to help any of our customers! Contact us to learn more!
* Above fact was found here: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/products/product-information/water-heaters/13735