• How to Protect the Value of your Cape Cod Dream Home

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    Cape Associates
    Cape Associates is a full-service Cape Cod custom homebuilder that offers design, permitting and cost-estimating services.

    Property management

    Protecting your Cape home investment

    By Cinnamon Swable

    You’ve achieved your dream of a Cape Cod home. How can you protect its value? How can you make sure it remains a pleasure and not a challenge to maintain?

    Some of the easiest ways is to pay attention to a few maintenance items.

    By far the easiest and most important step you can do when leaving your home after the season is to turn the water off at the main value. If a leak does form in the heating system over the winter, by taking this small step, your plumbing system will only leak what currently is in the pipes – usually no more than 10 gallons.

    Although some damage may occur, it will be minimal. If you don’t do this, the damage can be catastrophic. If you leave the water on at the main value and a leak occurs, the water can run continuously for a very long time – even months.

    If you are uncertain about the main valve’s location, a plumber can help isolate and tag it. This one small task can potentially save you thousands of dollars in damage and major stress.

    Another important area is your heating system. A yearly service contract is available through most HVAC companies. The contract usually includes yearly maintenance and a discounted rate for any emergency call. More than the discount is the peace of mind of knowing you have a reliable expert to call, especially if you are off Cape at the time.

    A heating system failure can result in frozen pipes, which in turn will cause costly water damage.

    Many homes have outside water for spigots and showers. These should be drained properly to prevent damage. Some are easy for you to handle, but others require a licensed plumber, who also can set up a system to make it easy for you to handle in the future.

    An often overlooked item is gutter maintenance. They should be cleaned thoroughly in late fall. The downspouts should be rinsed to insure the water is able to flow freely during rains and empty far enough from your home’s foundation to avoid water pooling near your home.

    If your gutters are not cleaned, water can accumulate and freeze, migrating into your home to cause leaks and rotted wooden fascia boards and sofits. A landscaper or cleaning company can perform this service safely and efficiently.

    One of the best ways to protect your home’s value is to hire a reputable home property watch service. Homeowners are usually surprised to learn how affordable this is. The service usually provides weekly checks of your home and provide a reliable point of contact to locate and manage specialists like plumbers, electricians and roofers in the event of weather-related damage.

    When looking for a home property watch service, be sure they have a Watch Guard Patrol Agency license. You can check with the state of Massachusetts.

    By taking just these few simple steps, you will ensure your property is well protected for years to come.

    Cinnamon Swable is manager of the Property Management Division of Cape Associates. She can be reached at 774-316-4703 or cinnamon@capecassociates.com

    March 08, 2014