Very soon we’ll be saying “welcome back!” to our summer Cape Cod residents. If you’re one of those seasonal residents, you know that while coming back to the Cape means the beginning of another summer of fun in the sun, it also means the less-than-enjoyable task of preparing to open your home for the season.
Perhaps you have a caretaker to help manage the home opening essentials, leaving you with the simple jobs of stocking the pantry and making the beds. But for many seasonal residents, opening the home is an annual labor of love, which is why we’ve put together a seasonal home opener checklist for you to follow as you begin your journey back to the Cape.
- Check A/C and Heating Systems. Turn on your A/C and/or heating systems to make sure they’re working properly, and call for service as soon as possible if there are any issues. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment before the summer starts to have your equipment tuned-up and filters replaced to keep your systems in good working condition. Call Snow’s to arrange a routine maintenance appointment for your home.
- Perform a Safety Sweep. After being empty for a good part of the year, it’s important to ensure your systems and hardware are in good working order.
- Check each lightbulb in your home to make sure they’re working properly (so there are no surprises come dark).
- Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as flashlights.
- Test any GFCI outlets (typically found in the bathroom and kitchen) by plugging in a small appliance and hitting the test and reset buttons to make sure they’re functioning properly.
- If you’ve winterized your home, make sure the water is turned on BEFORE you turn on your water heater and appliances. Which leads us to…
- Turn on Your Water. If you turn off your water before closing your home at the end of the season in order to avoid frozen pipes during the winter, be sure to schedule an appointment prior to your arrival to have it turned back on. Snow’s offers professional plumbing services and is happy to help—call today!
- Check Your Home for Damage. Winters on Cape Cod can be cruel to homes, especially unoccupied ones. Check your ceilings, walls, and floors for any signs of water damage from burst pipes or a roof leak. You should also check for signs of any insect or pest infestation, and call a pest control service immediately to avoid long-term damage. Take a walk around the perimeter of your home, too, to look for gutter, window, and roof damage, especially if you have trees and shrubs near the home.If your home suffers from weather-related damage, it’s a good idea to consider installing a home monitoring service from Snow’s. This service monitors your property during the months you’re away and protects your home from possible damage due to burst pipes or temperature drops by immediately sending us an alert if there are any problems.
- Check Fuel Levels. If you’re a will-call customer, don’t forget to check your oil and propane tanks to ensure you have fuel, and that no damage occurred to your tank during the winter. If your fuel gauge shows that you’re down to ¼ tank, call Snow’s to arrange a delivery.
- Open the Pool. If you have a pool, it’s time to get it ready for summer fun! In addition to refilling, cleaning, and shocking your pool, don’t forget to reconnect your pump, filter, and heater, and clear antifreeze from your drains before removing the winterizing plugs. And before you take your inaugural plunge, call Snow’s to get on a scheduled propane delivery routine so you never need to worry about jumping into an ice-cold pool.
- Turn on Your Utilities. If you have a seasonal agreement with any local providers (e.g., cable, internet), make sure you contact them a month in advance to have your utilities turned back on prior to your arrival. If you have a standing agreement with your provider to turn on your utilities on a specific date, it doesn’t hurt to check in with them a week in advance to make sure your request is on schedule.
- Get Provisions. Depending on how long your trip to the Cape will take, you may not want to bring a cooler full of perishables. If possible, send one person to shop while the other gets a jump on the rest of the checklist items. And don’t forget to PLUG IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR before going out to shop—otherwise you might end up with a puddle of ice cream on your counter.
- Set up Patio Furniture. Scrub down your table and chairs, vacuum your furniture pillows, and take a seat. After all that cleaning, you deserve some relaxation time. Welcome home!