Soon many residents will be leaving for the summer…closing up their homes and headed North. Many are old hands at this and some are new to the process. Below is a basic checklist to help you do the job right. Every year we ask that residents bring all loose yard items under cover in the house or garage. Hurricanes are not the only threat as we have many severe thunderstorms during the summer, and some generate line winds in excess of 60-70 mph.
Travel safe and see you all in the fall.
As always you can follow what is going on by accessing Gator Tales on line here or on BHP website.
Closing Your Florida Home Guidelines
The University of Florida IFAS Extension has designated the following list to assist you in preparing to close your home for the season.
- Have your air conditioning system serviced (this should be done annually).
- Have an air conditioning service professional calibrate the humidistat.
- Air Conditioner should run at least two hours out of every 24.
- Vacuum upholstered furnishings and leave cushions upright.
- Clean with fungicidal products (i.e. chlorinated phenols) to remove existing spores.
- Empty and thoroughly clean freezer and refrigerator.
- With the exception of an optional box of baking soda, leave refrigerator empty.
- Disconnect refrigerator and leave door ajar.
- Empty dishwasher and leave door unlatched.
- Run 1 dozen ice cubs and 2 or 3 tablespoons of baking soda in garbage disposal to clean blades.
- Dispose of cereals, crackers, and pastas to avoid household pests.
- Unopened jars and cans of food can be left on the shelves.
- Flour, sugars and salt should be stored in tightly sealed containers.
- Clean cabinet interiors and exteriors.
- Clean oven, broiler and drip trays under the surface units of the range.
- Clean portable appliances.
- Disconnect all electrical appliances, computers and televisions.
- Leave only clean cloths in closets and allow space between garments.
- Do not leave items on the floor.
- Do not wrap garments or other items in plastic (unless the air can be removed from the bag). This may increase mildew.
- Leave all closet doors open to permit air circulation.
- Clean all bathroom surfaces and fixtures.
- Cover toilet and tank with plastic and secure with duct tape. (You may want to pour a few drops of bleach in the bowl water).
- Put stoppers in all drains and cover all drains with duct tape.
- Bring in outdoor furniture, grills and anything that may cause damage if a storm occurs. (This includes hanging objects, potted plants, lawn ornaments, garden hoses from spigots).
- Screened enclosures are not considered indoors; a garage is suitable storage.
- Turn off the water from outside your unit.
- Water valves on toilets and washing machines can also be turned off.
- Turn off electric water heater.
- Turn off power to garage door opener.
- Close hurricane shutters.
- Discontinue mail and newspaper delivery.
- Lock doors and take security precautions.
- Ensure a responsible person has your contact information in the event of a problem or situation that affects your property.
With any luck it will be a quiet hurricane season.
Enjoy your summer.