It's Season Again in SWFL

Seasonal people are back, they are not yet worrying about heading back North or back to Europe. This is the time however to review your plans for leaving your home vacant. Do you have Home Watch now? Are you satisfied with your home’s condition when you returned? If no is the answer to these questions, now is the time to look for professional Home Watch providers. There is no license in Home Watch so there is a wide variation in the level of service in Home Watch companies. Look for your Home Watch person to have insurance, training, bonding, a background check, and an industry affiliation. Without these items your Home Watch person is a hobby Home Watcher, just doing it because it is easy money for them without investing in their profession. Beware of these type of people promising to provide services they are not skilled to provide.

Summertime Air Condition Issues

It's hot now in the end of July in SWFL, so air conditioners do two things, they cool your house and they break.  

This week I had two clients with air conditioners that were shut down due to a plugged drain line.  One a new house and one a older condo.  What makes this significant is with a biweekly service you can be hot and humid for 14 days until I return.  This is long enough for mold to get started.  I now recommend weekly home watch visits.

I opened the clients door and found the conditions in the photo to the right.  It was very hot and stuffy, I knew something was wrong immediately.  The thermostat was set to 74, the system was ON and calling for cooling.  The drain line sensor had been tripped by too much water in the line.  I drained the line into a bucket and the air came on and was cooling so I knew the drain line was the root cause.


A service guy came out "cleared" the line and left.  On the surface the problem was solved, but the root cause was not yet fixed.  Being a Home Watch professional I checked on it the next day just to be sure and now it was 85 degrees in the house!

House was under warranty but plugged drain lines are not covered.  Make sure you have a air conditioning maintenance service agreement in place even if the house is under warranty.

The photo above to the left is how I found the line when it was not draining.  I moved to the angle in the photo to the right, and it was then draining.  Permanent fix was for the piping to be changed to get more drop before getting to the wall.  This was a build issue that took a while to surface with a marginal drainage system.  

A weekly Home Watch visit will catch these issues sooner, so which is best?  I would choose the weekly visit to help me prevent minor damage going to disaster.  An empty home is a vulnerable home!


Home Watch Expectations - Seasonal Residents

Nothing is perfect and stuff happens all the time regardless of how careful we are.  The same is true with home watch, anything can happen to your home at any time so its impossible for any home watch company to completely protect your home when you are away.  We are there to observe and report to you the distant home owner.  What we offer is minimizing the damage by catching the issues early before they become a disaster.  The purpose of our service is scheduled observation and reporting which increases the chances of early detection before more costly damage can occur.

It is critical that your HVAC system is working properly to prevent mold and mildew from damaging your home.  Water leaks left undetected can have some serious implications.  I recommend the water being off when you are away to minimize the amount of water that could flow from a leak.

So please keep in mind anything can happen at anytime.  Let your home watch professional minimize the the things that do happen.  Make sure your home watch person is not a hobby home watcher, ask for training, insurance and bonding to protect yourself from the non professionals.

Relax and enjoy your time away.