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Closing Your Florida Home Checklist & Booklet

 
Closing Your Florida Home Checklist

The following list is designed to assist you in preparing to close your home for the season. Some procedures may apply to your situation, others may not. Use this list as a guide to check off those tasks of greatest concern to you. The rationale for the procedures listed below are explained in the following pages.

Three (3) Weeks Prior to Leaving:
  • Make an appointment to have air conditioning system serviced (this should be done once a year).
  • Have air conditioning service professional calibrate humidistat.
  • Call telephone company to temporarily suspend service during your absence.
  • Review homeowners insurance policy and update, if necessary.
  • Determine what method(s) you will use to control relative humidity inside your home and/or control fungal growth.
  • Seek a trusted friend or relative to check on your home or act in your behalf.
  • Arrange for landscaping maintenance.
  • Arrange to close shutters and/or prepare home in the event of a hurricane threat.

Two (2) Weeks Prior to Leaving:
  • Purchase timers for lamps, radio or other appliances.
  • Arrange to forward mail.
  • Arrange for cancellation of newspapers, magazines.
  • Run air conditioning on humidistat settings to test reliability. It should run at least two hours out of every 24 hours.
  • Purchase desiccants, if needed.
  • Begin cleaning with fungicidal products to remove existing fungal spores.

One (1) Week Prior to Leaving:
  • Clean refrigerator and freezer. Eat food on hand.
  • Check operation of dehumidifier, if you choose to use one.
  • Place in central location.
  • Secure continuous drain.
  • Vacuum upholstered furnishings to get rid of mold spores.
  • Remove interior plants and exterior plants in pots and containers.
  • Eat food in the food cabinets or plan to give away or discard. Do not keep herbs such as parsley, oregano, basil, etc. You may, however, keep spices such as cinnamon, curry, nutmeg, etc. and all canned products.

On the Day of Departure:
  • Empty refrigerator and freezer; disconnect and leave door slightly ajar.
  • Run 1 dozen ice cubes and 2 or 3 tablespoons baking soda in the garbage disposal to clean blades.
  • Empty dishwasher.
  • Set timers on lights.
  • Drain and disconnect water heater.
  • Strip bedding.
  • Cover drains with stopper and duct tape.
  • Cover and seal toilets.
  • If using chemical mildew inhibitors, cover air passages with 2 ml thick plastic.
  • Set burglar alarm.
  • Check air conditioning for accurate settings.
  • Set off insect "bombs" or "foggers", if desired.
  • Lock doors and secure exterior.

Closing Your Florida Home Booklet Available

Avoid the costly ravages and expense of mold, mildew and corrosion this summer. Learn to properly set humidistat and timers, control humidity and prevent mildew in your absence this summer. This booklet is available for $5.00. To receive the booklet, send a check made payable to:
Board of County Commissioners
Closing Your Florida Home
Palm Beach County Extension
Family and Consumer Sciences
559 North Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415-1311