Top 8 Things To Do Before You Leave Your Home

It’s hard to believe that the time to begin planning for a return trip home is coming up, but many part-time residents will be leaving Southwest Florida in the next 30-60 days. Following are a few simple tips from our team at Golden Property Management and Home Watch Services to help you insure your property is safe while you’re away.

• First – After the direct hit from Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017, the value of working hurricane shutters is still fresh in our minds. 30 days before you leave, do a “shutter checkup.” If your shutters are automated, test them to make sure they are in working order. If your shutters are manual, make sure all the materials are where they can be easily accessible, can be moved quickly and haven’t become a home for any “critters” like hornets or rodents. Also make sure all hardware to hang shutters is available and let your homewatch service know if you have had changes in your protective services (i.e. new rollup or accordian shutters). Once a hurricane is on the way, it is too late for anyone to purchase hardware, plywood or other hurricane protection.

• No Damp-rid –No matter the size of the container, they can reach their maximum capacity in a short period of time and the results are a mess of water and chemicals. If you want to keep the musty smell out of closets and cabinets, just leave the doors open and consider adding a dehumidifier that drains into a sink.

• Water = Bad – Water Damage is the number one claim for damage in Florida. Make sure the gutters outside are clean and that the main water valve is turned off leading into the home. Double check with your insurance agent – some policies require that main water be shut off during extended absences.

• South Florida has lightning strikes – Please trip all non-essential breakers in your main box. Unplug all small appliances and electronics. Even with the breakers tripped, electricity can travel from a strike and damage them if plugged in.

• Keep in touch – If there are any changes to your contact information, please let us know in advance so we can contact you immediately, especially in an emergency situation. Let us know when you are leaving and when we need to resume homewatch services to provide maximum protection for your property.

• Take out your trash – We will catch it if left behind, but even in a short period of time it can leave a lingering smell.

• Clean out the refrigerator. If you’d prefer, we do that last-minute chore, just let us know before you go!

• Stay Cool – It’s Ok to turn up the AC, but not too high and especially remember not to turn your air conditioner off completely. Florida Power and Light recommends setting the AC to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for detached homes and townhouses and 77 degress for condos or apartments. This will help keep the interior of your home in good shape. For more tips from FPL for seasonal residents, visit

Don’t Forget we are here for you!! If there is anything you may need assistance with in preparing your home before you leave – call us at (239) 455-0459 and we will gladly assist you.