Three End of Summer Chores to Close Vacation Homes

Labor Day can be bittersweet. It’s the last long weekend of summer, and for many, it’s also time to close the vacation property for the season. We recommend focusing on three specific outdoor areas before shutting down the cabin, lake house or other summer getaway. Incorporating the following simple steps can help prep the outside of the home for its annual winter hibernation and will pay off when you return for more memories and adventures in the spring.

1. Clean the Outside of the Home

A pressure washer is ideal for tidying up the outside area of the house. A light- or medium-duty pressure washer quickly tackles heavy-use and exposed areas like sidewalks, patios, decks, piers and siding. Washing with a detergent helps easily remove the layer of dirt, mildew and other grime that builds up over the year. Cleaning summer home surfaces ensures their condition for seasons to come. Specific surfaces such as your boat and dock must be treated differently so it is key to read up before getting started. The POWERFlow + pressure washer has settings powerful enough for tough jobs like grimy dock piers but gentle enough for jobs that can’t handle too much pressure like patio furniture.

2. Clear the Brush

The combination of summer sunshine and rain creates perfect conditions to produce out-of-control plants. Rein in the brambles and rowdy bushes before winter with a hedge trimmer now, so returning in the spring requires less work. A string trimmer also will power through weeds, remove scraggly plants from pathways and trim sidewalks and driveways to clear up high traffic areas. Snapper® has introduced a new line of tough lithum-ion battery-powered tools that help get the job done. This line of tools is great to keep at the summer home because it requires little to no storage prep and can re-charge easily for the next season without worry. While you’re at it, consider removing leaves and debris from gutters, downspouts and rooftops so rain and snow drain effortlessly. Check out these step-by-step instructions and expert tips for cleaning and repairing gutters.

3. Cut the Grass

Take time to mow the lawn before heading out for the year. Even if snow isn’t far off, aerating, fertilizing and mowing are needed for grass to survive the tough winter months. When cutting, mow the lawn a bit shorter than during the summer. Shorter grass makes it easier for roots to survive winter stress and will allow it to green up more quickly in the spring. After you mow the grass for the final time, store your mower properly for winter. If you would like to go a step further by fertilizing the yard before winter, read how to easily fertilize here.

By creating a routine each time the home is left empty for an extended period of time, you can reduce the likelihood of forgetting anything and keep work to a minimum upon return.