Tuesday, November 3, 2009


By E. Brown with input from J. Hart, for CV winter residents and others. Keep your condo clean and dry or mildew and insects will move in.

1. Notify the post office of your change of address. Cancel newspapers.

2. It is always your responsibility to give your maintenance company your updated address.

3. Notify your association officials, of your northern contact info. Make sure they have a current key for your condo. If there was fire or water damage you would want contact assistance. Note: President is not your jack of all trades.

4. For central air conditioners only: Put tablets or AC Line cleaner in a/c pan. This prevents algae forming and blocking the water discharge. Some people use 1/2 cup dilute household bleach but this can etch pipes.

5. Vacuum ! Remove and discard dirt bag from vacuum.

6. Empty refrigerator, turn off, wash the inside, and prop doors open so they cannot close.

7. After cleaning toilets, add a 1/2 cup bleach, put plastic wrap over the opening so water does not evaporate. Dry pipes can allow entry of bugs and vermin.
You may also turn off toilet valves and flush toilet once to leave as little tank water as possible in case of tank seal leak. Put stoppers in drains.

8. Run dishwasher one full cycle with no dishes but with 1 cup white vinegar. This helps prevent mineral deposits and rubber parts drying out.

9. Bring in loose items from patio - hurricane drill.

10. Remove batteries from TV remotes, clocks and gadgets - they can corrode and do damage.

11. Replace the battery in your smoke alarm twice/year, on leaving and on returning. Other residents do not want to hear everlasting chirps when it dies. Or, purchase a new 10-year smoke alarm w/no maintenance.

12. Check sliding door is locked and has bar. Lock windows, close jalousies tightly. Adjust shades and verticals to keep out sun fade and heat.

12. Pour 1/2 cup of cooking oil down your disposal to prevent it from seizing over the summer.

13. Unplug all small appliances, from microwave to TV and clocks. This prevents damage from electrical surges in summer storms.

14. Dry foods should be discarded or stored in tightly sealed containers. You do not need reminder to discard perishables.

15. Open cupboard doors, closet doors, turn up cushions. More air circulation helps prevent mildew. Some people like to use Damp Rid but it may damage floors if spilled.

16. If you have a humidistat set the A/C to 75 degrees F and side switch to 'COOL' and 'AUTO'. Set the humidistat to 60%. (55% if your condo is on the ground floor OR if you have had past mildew problems).
If you do NOT have humidistat set the A/C 78 degrees F and side switch to 'COOL' and 'AUTO'.

17. Turn off all breaker box switches except for A/C.

18. Hire a professional condo checker or good friend to look at your condo every 2 weeks to be certain you have no roof leaks, flood, mildew, or any other problems.

19. Close main water valve, use best way for your area.

20. When you return next fall the first thing you do is TURN ON YOUR MAIN WATER VALVE so that your water tank is full before you turn on electricity. This prevents accidentally burning out the heating elements inside the tank.

Choose whatever tasks apply to you. The best thing is to return and find everything in excellent condition.

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