Updated: Apr 4
A Vacant Home is a Vulnerable Home
If you own a home in South Florida, you know that there are periods when your home will be unoccupied, typically when you leave for a family vacation. Usually, this is just for a long weekend or two-week vacation. Maybe you’ll hire a house-sitter or ask the neighbors to watch out for you, just in case.
However, if you have a second home in South Florida that property may be unoccupied for much longer periods, maybe as much as several months. You may only use the home for a stretch in the summer and then on holidays or for family getaways. Simply locking the door and relying on a busy neighbor to watch your home from time to time is not the best way to protect your investment. Quite frankly, it could lead to serious damage to or loss of your home in SFL as a result of storms, fire, mold, theft, or pests.
Before leaving your property in South Florida vacant, there are some precautions you can take to protect your home. One of the easiest solutions is to hire a professional home watch service in South Florida, like Safe Home Management.
Some scenarios can lead to property damage. Below, we have outlined the three most common issues we encounter on our South Florida home watch inspections.
1. Hurricane or Storm Damage
Here in South Florida, we know all too well that Mother Nature can unleash harsh weather in the form of heavy rains and strong winds leading to hurricanes, storm surges, and flooding. This can wreak havoc on the interior and exterior of your home in South Florida.
Strong winds can result in flying objects and downed tree branches damaging windows and roofs. Flooding can result in serious property damage, mold, and loss of precious belongings. Often, as a result of storms, we see small problems turn into catastrophic disasters. For example, a small roof leak can become a major source of damage in a short period during a heavy storm.
While not all storm damage can be avoided in a serious weather event, many steps can be taken to prevent or minimize damage. As home watch professionals in South Florida, an important part of our job is to identify any potential risks and to protect your South Florida home from major damage in the event of a serious storm.
We take precautions such as securing outdoor furniture so it won’t blow around, ensuring sump pumps are working properly to minimize flooding, checking for leaks, and repairing small issues so they do not become big issues during a storm.
2. Faulty Electrical Systems and Failed Appliances
Imagine leaving your South Florida home for a few weeks in the summer. You lock up and are on your merry way, but unknown to you, the air conditioner stops working during your time away and you come back to a rancid-smelling, damaged home. This is all too common. We often see serious damage to homes resulting from faulty wiring and failed appliances. Faulty or old wiring, or misuse of extension cords in homes, can lead to fires. Power surges can cause appliances to fail resulting in problems ranging from flooding, home security systems going down, and other more serious damages.
It’s not always possible to prevent these issues, but having a professional South Florida home watch service on the job may be the difference between damage to your home or a complete disaster. At Safe Home Management in South Florida, we have a 37-point checklist we go through every time we inspect a home in South Florida (inspections are either weekly or bi-monthly). We check that everything is in working order, and if we spot any concerns, we immediately notify you of the situation, and how we propose to fix it for you.
3. Pest Intrusion and Infestation
Other situations we often run into are pest intrusions and invasions in South Florida homes. Being close to nature can have many advantages, but pests are definitely one of its major challenges.
Rodents and animals, such as rats, mice, and raccoons can be a big problem for South Florida homeowners. These invaders typically are seeking food and shelter. Once they get in, they are difficult to remove and can be harmful to your family’s health. If your South Florida home is not properly watched and secured when unattended, these animals can find their way into your home and take up residency. If they start breeding, their populations will grow and the problem can become quite costly to contain.
Insects, such as ants, termites, wasps, and bees can also take up residency on the interior or exterior of your home. Ants may be looking for food or water sources. Termites primarily feed on wood, but also feed on paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners and filtration systems. Bees can take up residency and create hives in the walls of homes, wasps can form their nests under eaves, in attics, and other spaces.
Part of our South Florida home inspection checklist includes looking for signs of rodent and insect infestation and taking steps to eliminate these problems.
These are just three examples of common problems we find on our home watch inspections in South Florida. There are many other potential risks to consider when leaving your South Florida home unoccupied. Having a South Florida home watch professional on duty can mean the difference between detecting a problem early and avoiding damage entirely, or taking the risk of leaving your South Florida home unprotected.
If you would like to learn more about any of the services from Safe Home Management, please call or email us at 561.332.8442 or contact us direct.