The following are some things to consider should you leave your unit for days, weeks or months.
Make arrangements for someone to visit your unit at least once a month to flush toilets and run water from each faucet, tub or shower to refill the water traps below each drain, blocking sewer gas from entering your apartment if the water in the trap evaporates completely. Consider closing sink drains to slow evaporation of the water in the traps. You may sign a key release form and provide a key to the front desk for your home watch vendor. (Keys may not be left for family members or tenants.)
Look for additional information related to emergency preparation elsewhere on this website. If you have furniture, plants, or other unsecured items on your balcony, bring them inside your unit or store them elsewhere. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, items on your balcony can become airborne and could cause major damage. When a storm approaches Sarasota, the Renaissance staff will be busy securing the common areas of the building and will not be able to move items from your balcony or secure your unit so you need to take preventive action before you leave.
Consider installing a patio door bar. Hurricane winds have been known to stress and unlatch a slider and the door could then slide open and allow wind and rain to enter your unit. It is not recommended to place a stick of wood or pipe in the bottom door jam as this may prevent the dam from working as it should. See information on this website related to the three-inch metal strip across the bottom of the entire doorway opening that is designed to prevent wind-blown water from being driven under the door and into your apartment. It may be prudent to place a highly absorbent towel on the floor in front of that three inch jam. Check that your homeowner’s insurance policy is in effect and that you have purchased the necessary windstorm coverage (it’s not normally included in a condo policy, so check).
Power surges are common in our area during summer storms. These surges can and likely will damage electronics and other appliances in your home. It is wise to disconnect your cable connection, computer, modem, other electronics and stand-alone appliances.
Close the main water supply valves located in your air conditioner closet
Open kitchen cabinets and drawers, closets and bureau drawers, bathroom drawers and under-sink cabinets to allow air to circulate. Leave the dishwasher door slightly ajar.
If you will be away for an extended period, be sure to submit a temporary change of address form to the post office so that your mail will be forwarded. When you leave the refrigerator/freezer doors open (recommended, since a closed refrigerator that has been turned off can develop an odor), put an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator and freezer compartments. You may want to leave a sign on the refrigerator stating that the refrigerator power is off and the doors have been intentionally left open or you run the risk that someone visiting your unit (your inspector, an emergency plumber or the like) might “helpfully,” or inadvertently, close the doors.
Unplug your microwave oven and leave the door ajar. Run the kitchen disposer and flush it completely.
Close your window blinds and drapes to reduce solar heating and the destructive effects of sunlight to your furniture. Remove all trash and discard or remove all opened or plastic and paper-wrapped food products stored in the pantry. Grain beetles can become established in dried foods. Be alert to pest control situations. Pests like moisture and food crumbs, so take the necessary precautions to remove sources of supply before you leave.
If you will be absent from your home during the summer, it is very important that you leave your air conditioner and, if you have one, humidistat on and at a temperature setting that will keep humidity below 70 percent (mildew growth starts at or above about 70 percent).
If you have neither a setback thermostat nor a humidistat and you will be absent from your apartment for an extended period, set your thermostat to a low enough temperature (determined by you, but probably around 78 to 80 degrees) to make sure that no mold or mildew will have a chance to grow. Never turn your air conditioner off during an extended absence. You must use it to keep the humidity in your apartment low or you will significantly increase the likelihood of mildew and mold growth. Also, experts suggest that in Florida you should not set your thermostat fan switch to “on” (running full time). Leave it in the “Auto” position (so it runs only when the compressor is working). Leaving the unit in the “on” position does not decrease your chance of mold growth and it will unnecessarily increases your electric bill.
Before you leave, be sure that the Community Manager has a way to contact you by phone, email and mail during your extended absence and knows approximately when you will return. Also, upon your return, please be sure to check back in with the Front desk Have a great vacation, and we’ll see you when you get back to The Renaissance!