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Lake House Maintenance TIPS

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Kimberly Blackford  by Kimberly Blackford

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If you’re lucky enough to own a second home, then you probably long for the moment each week when you can escape your daily routine and head to this special place. Second homes provide a mental escape located in a tranquil place away from the errands, carpooling and all the headaches associated with running a household every day. Whether you have a lake house or beachfront cottage, being only a temporary resident can pose some special problems and maintenance issues for a homeowner. Here are some important things to remember when trying to maintain a home while you are away.


It can be a difficult task keeping your home safe and secure when you’re not there. Daily activity and the presence of those who dwell there are an automatic safe guard from theft and vandalism. The minute you leave, your precious home is at a threat.

Here are a few easy and inexpensive ways to keep your home from looking so vulnerable.

  • Add automatic lights that are either on a timer, or switch on once the sun goes down. Having lights surrounding the exterior will make those who are interested in break-ins less comfortable about acting this out.  Also, having certain interior lamps or lights set on timers to turn on regularly will keep up the appearance of regular activity. Have a kitchen lamp turn in early in the evening and possibly a bedroom lamp remain on later into the night.

  • If you have a neighbor you know nearby your vacation home, have them occasionally drive by and survey the area. If they know your patterns and routines, they will be sure to notice if anything looks out of place almost immediately.

  • If the home is not used on a regular basis, it is still important to keep it maintained and cleaned so it is ready to be enjoyed as soon as you arrive. Consider hiring a cleaning service to clean your home in-between visits and protect the interior from dust and mold. Plus, having regular visits from individuals such as this will let intruders know this home is well-kept and cared for by the owners. Having a cleaning service can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want depending on how much cleaning you want to add to the maintenance costs of a home such as this.

  • Installing a security system is another way to ensure your favorite get-away is safe and sound. Although there will be some costs involved when installing, typically the monthly or quarterly payments for this service is relatively inexpensive. Be sure when researching security companies that if a break-in occurs, the police will be dispatched to survey the scene.

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Besides security inside and out, a home must be maintained throughout the seasons in many ways. Proper heating, cooling and other maintenance measures need to be considered even when not in use. Not having the interior set on a proper temperature could cause damage to pipes, flooring, and other areas.

Below are several maintenance ideas to keep your home welcoming when you arrive for a week of fun and relaxation.

HVAC – In the winter, the ideal temperature for keeping your home safe from frozen pipes and other disasters is between 50 and 55 degrees. During the summer and depending on the average outdoor temperature, be sure that the interior does not become overheated. If your home gets overheated or too moist, then mold and rust can build up. And if you have candles in indoor or outdoor spaces, be sure that these areas are cool enough so they won’t melt.

Appliances – If you will not be visiting your vacation or lake house for awhile, then consider unplugging appliances.  Many fires have been attributed to everyday appliances with faulty wiring. Why not reduce your chances of this?

Pests – Secure windows, patch up holes in siding and install mesh over attic vents and soffits to keep mice, squirrels and birds out of your home. Who wants to show up for a relaxing vacation week and discover you’ll be sharing your time with such creatures? It’s a lot easier to keep them out, then to find a way to remove them once they’re there. Of course, if you can’t seem to rid your home of mice, then installing traps in strategic entry points will at least keep them from multiplying!

Protect Outdoor Furniture – Cover outdoor or deck furniture carefully to ensure damage if storms roll through the area. Shut down your gas grill to avoid leaks and consider chaining it to a railing to keep it from blowing away in an intense storm. Anything that can be better secured will keep from damaging an outdoor area, your home’s siding and/or windows in the event of a major storm.

These special maintenance tips and ideas will make your visits to your special vacation getaway enjoyable and stress-free. Taking these simple steps before you leave will keep from unexpected disasters when you return the next time.

Here are some related articles:

- Going Bump In The Night: Home Security

- Katrina Cottages - Rebuilding Hope

- Protecting Your Home From Storm Damage

- What Makes A Great Vacation Home?

- Winterizing From Top To Bottom



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