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If you are a seasonal resident who likes to escape the brutal summer heat, it is not too early to begin preparing your Florida home for your departure.
Here are some simple steps to protect your home while you are away.

  • Turn off the water at the main supply valve if it is not used for lawn irrigation.
    • Did you know a cracked 1/8” pipe inside your home can leak over 150 gallons of water per day? This can lead to damage and unhealthy mold.
    • Avoid using angle stop valves located behind toilets and under sinks as Florida tap water can corrode them causing leaks and significant damage.
  • Have your air conditioning system serviced by a professional.
    • Ask your HVAC company what temperature setting they recommend for your vacant home.
    • Homeowners differ on this point, but all agree it is important to make sure the AC doesn’t run constantly.
  • Turn the AC Fan setting to “AUTO” to keep humidity levels in check.
    • An AC fan that runs continuously tends to move humid air back into the living space. In the AUTO setting, the fan only runs while the AC is operating and allows the moisture to condense and drain outside the home. The AUTO setting also saves electricity.
  • If your AC is working properly, it is not necessary to run ceiling fans.
    • Of course, if the AC is not working, ceiling fans can help circulate the air.
  • Change AC filter(s) to maximize efficiency.
    • Dirty filters draw more power causing the HVAC system to work harder and be less efficient.
  • Remove perishable foods, including cereals, crackers, and pastas.
  • Store flours, sugars, and salts in tightly sealed containers.
  • Clean cabinet interiors and exteriors.
  • Remove spatters in microwave.
  • Replaced batteries in smoke detectors, if required.
  • Clean the premises thoroughly, including laundry that can foster mildew.
  • Vacuum carpets and floors to remove all sources of food for vermin and mildew.
  • Move window slats to an upward position to avoid direct sunlight on furniture. Also, leave blinds 1 inch above the windowsill to allow your home watcher to easily check for insects or accumulating moisture.
  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Thoroughly clean your pool.
    • A reliable pool maintenance service should check your pool every 7 to 10 days to maintain proper pH and chemical levels.
  • Consider opening a free City of Punta Gorda app to keep track of water usage. The Dropcountr app helps residents detect leaks and mitigate water damage. Residents can download the app from the Apple or Android App store, or sign up online at https://www.dropcountr.com/puntagorda.
  • Arrange for lawn and landscaping maintenance.
  • Update photographs / videos of both the outside and inside of your home.
  • Safeguard important insurance documents.
  • Ask your insurance company if there are any specific requirements for homeowners away from their home for an extended period.
    • As a reflection of the inherent risk, some insurance policies contain clauses that void coverage if a property is left unoccupied and unattended.
  • Arrange for a reliable home watch company to check your home weekly or every other week while you are away to prevent and promptly report any problems.
    • Make sure the home watch service you use is insured and bonded. Some companies use GPS enabled technology so you can know exactly when they visit your home. A reliable home watch service will act as your eyes and ears and give you peace of mind while you are away. Make sure you select a home watch company that is local and is available to respond to your home should an emergency arise.
  • Advise a neighbor that a professional home watch service will be checking your home and provide them the telephone number of the home watch company.

These are just some of the steps you should consider to protect your seasonal Florida home. But, don’t worry. If you forget to do something on the list, GMan Home Watch of Punta Gorda can help. Our experienced professionals will conduct regular checks of your home to prevent problems or keep them from getting worse. We serve as your eyes and ears and provide electronic reports following each visit. In the event we find something of concern, we will promptly provide photographs and contact you for direction regarding how to proceed. For the best home watch services in Southwest Florida, look no further than GMan Home Watch of Punta Gorda to protect your home today!