3 Essential Home Watch Action Items For Your Vacation Home

Having a vacation home is rewarding and exciting, but owning a property from which you are absent for long periods also incurs a certain amount of risk.

But that risk does not need to translate into more worries for you. After all, you certainly did not purchase a vacation home to increase your stress level!

To assuage your concerns, you just need to hire a reliable and professional home watch team in Palm Desert, CA to ensure its security and safety from the natural elements, unforeseen accidents, and theft or vandalism.

Since you’re on vacation, you’d rather your time to unwind and relax at your destination of choice, rather than be overwhelmed by unexpected issues and being overwhelmed with repairs or maintenance tasks.

Should You Have A Checklist For Home Watch Services?

Yes! A thorough and complete checklist is essential for a successful home watch relationship.

This will assure that your team of service members are aware of all safety and maintenance checks of your holiday home.

However, every reputable home watch service company should offer an exhaustive checklist that they can discuss and customize to fit your unique needs.

Here are the three most important home-watch checkpoints you should be sure to include on your checklist.

Weather & Water Damage Evaluation

Your property can suffer serious water damage when left unattended for long periods.

You could face expensive repair and maintenance costs if your home is not maintained regularly and thorough home evaluations to look at the walls, windows, basements, and the roof to pinpoint and fix any leaks or damage before it’s too late.

A professional home-watch team will carefully inspect your vacation residence to ensure there aren’t any plumbing problems or water damage to ceiling boards or walls etc.

Standard Maintenance & Repair Check 

A good home security company will look over plumbing and electrical system thoroughly throughout your house.

It is also important to check water pipes, power sockets, and lights to make sure that everything is in working condition when you are away.

The team can coordinate with you if there are any issues, contact plumbers and/or electricians to make repairs on your behalf, grant access to your home, and supervise repair efforts.

Infestation & Pest Prevention

Many pests can take up residence in your vacation home in your absence from the property. 

Insects and rodents can establish a real stronghold if their presence goes unnoticed and undeterred for long periods. 

Ask your home watch service provider to check for all signs of infestation and use approved preventative methods to stop pests from settling into your vacation home.

House Sitter vs. Professional Home Watch Service

Research is crucial while deciding between a house sitter and home watch services in Coachella Valley.

Comparing and contrasting your choices will give you insight as to which service provider can best cater to your needs. To help you decide, we will distinguish between the average house sitter and hiring a professional home watch service.

What’s the Difference between Hiring a House Sitter and a Professional Home Watch Service?

House Sitter

House sitters will watch over your house, take care of your pets, and water your plants while you’re away. The downside of hiring a house sitter is that they will live in your house. 

That could mean there is some wear and tear that is normal. Dishwasher running and using toilet paper or cooking in your kitchen, all those things.

House sitters are not trained, licensed, or insured if any damage or loss occurs in your home. Unless you know your house sitter, there is typically no background check needed. 

So, there’s no guarantee they won’t rummage through your documents, medicine cabinet, or jewelry box. Another downside to hiring a house sitter is that there’s typically no regular reporting about your house’s condition.

Professional Home Watch Service

If you are looking for an experienced and trustworthy service provider to take care of your home, choose a home watch service.

A home watch service can schedule frequent visits to the house during your absence and provide you with a report about the condition of your home.

Professional home watch service providers are trained, bonded, and insured. Furthermore, they follow a professional code of ethics that protects the confidentiality and privacy of each client.

They’re qualified to locate and report maintenance issues in your home-like leaking pipes, pest infestations, and even weather damage.

Looking for Home Watch Services in Coachella Valley?

Only entrust your property to home watch services in Coachella Valley. At Coachella Valley Home Watch, we are your partners in keeping your property safe and maintained while you’re away.

Vacation Home Maintenance Checklist

Whether you’re renting out your vacation home or using it only during the holidays, it’s essential to hire home watch services in Coachella valley. Hiring professionals to maintain your home will protect your investment from damage. 

Without proper maintenance today, your vacation home will likely call for expensive repairs in the future. If you want to keep your vacation home in its best condition, here’s a maintenance checklist you can follow:

Your Essentials Checklist:

Interior Maintenance

Basic interior wear and tear happens. But it’s essential to address them immediately before they turn into significant issues. 

Taking a proactive approach will help keep your maintenance cost low. It will also keep your vacation home in mint condition. Here’s what you should look out for:

Flooring

Have your carpets been washed and cleaned? Furthermore, have your wooden floors treated or refinished and stone floors resealed.

Knobs and handles

Have all your doorknobs and cabinet handles checked for any loose parts? If there are any, it’s important to tighten them.

Appliance

Check your appliances, including your AC, ventilation system, and heater. See if they’re still working fine. You might need to have them repaired or replaced.

Plumbing Fittings

Has your drainage been checked for any problems, including the water pressure? Your vacation home might also have loose or worn fixtures that need replacing.

Windows

Have your windows checked for any cracks and replace them, if necessary. And don’t forget to have them cleaned afterward!

Furniture

Has your furniture been checked for any damages? It might be necessary to reupholster or recondition them.

Exterior Maintenance

Landscaping

Have your landscaping checked and maintained. See if there’s anything you can improve. A small upgrade could make a significant impact on your home. You should also check your sprinklers, pathways and assess your patio furniture.

Walls

Have your exterior walls checked each year because they might need repainting? Small touchups here and there could make a big difference and preserve the beauty of your property.

Gutters and Downspout

Have your gutters and downspouts checked to ensure they’re working as they should?

This is only a simple checklist. If the amount of effort required to maintain a vacation home has already overwhelmed you, don’t avoid seeking assistance from house watch services in Coachella Valley.

Looking for Home Watch Services in Coachella Valley?

If you want to avoid spending thousands on repairs and keep your property in mint condition, don’t hesitate to hire home watch services in Coachella Valley. Call Coachella Valley Home Watch today!

4 Steps To Secure Your Home When You Are Away

You need to take steps to secure your home when you leave for a holiday vacation or take a work-related trip. 

You can create a plan to guard your home against any system malfunctions, water pipe breaks, and other accidents.  

These suggestions will also assist you in preventing your property from being a target for break-ins.

4 Steps To Guard Your House

Make Sure Your Home Doesn’t Appear Vacant 

A vacant home is an easy target for burglars. Ensure that you stop newspaper deliveries, have your garbage items removed from your property, and set a timer for interior and exterior lights.
These are a few things you can do to make sure your home isn’t an easy target.  

Create a to-do list before you leave

Prepare a list of things that you should do before leaving your house, such as ensuring your security system is functioning, water taps are closed, windows are closed and locked, and electronics are safely switched off and unplugged.

Covering your toilets with saran wrap, cutting off the water input pipes (including flushing lines), and installing a water sensor are all actions you may do to decrease the risks of a system failure or malfunction.

You can reduce your expenses by lowering the temperature on the thermostat and water heater, placing your internet and cable services on hold, and unplugging all unnecessary equipment and appliances.  

Secure your home against intruders

Have a security system in place. It is 101 for home security and a great way to protect your home when you are away. 

You may also install an indoor motion detector to detect when your doors or windows are opened and call the cops.

Other accessories, such as hard-wired smoke detectors and moisture & temperature sensors, can help you monitor your basement.  

Hire a professional home watch service 

Whether you’re away for a few days to a few weeks or more, you may need someone to watch over your house. You need not inconvenience neighbors or friends. And there is no one more up to the task than a professional home watch service in CA, USA.

Such service is ideal for individuals trying to sell their property from a distant location, traveling for business, or taking an extended vacation.

What To Look For When Hiring Home Watch Service? 

A reputable service should have proven experience of caring for unattended homes.

Ensure that they perform periodic external and internal inspections, email you the inspection report with pictures if there is any potential issue, and work with you to customize a comprehensive list of inspection points for every visit.  

Partner with a licensed professional who can prevent an accident from becoming a disaster! 

We have experienced professional service who can offer peace of mind to enjoy your vacations or focus on your work without worrying about your residence.

You can contact us at 760-205-2072

From our team to yours, we keep you in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts and we are thankful for each of you. May blessings be yours this Christmas.

Make Your Next Family Get-Together a Success with Concierge Services

Family get-togethers can be stressful. Even the families that have the best of relationships with their close and extended families can experience the stress of planning or hosting a major family get-together. 

If you are in charge of your father’s birthday this year or are just trying to make the next family reunion a success, we can help you here at On Point  Concierge with our concierge services.

Our concierge services are great for individuals who need some extra assistance during a time like this because we can assist you in almost any way possible. We have experts in party planning on staff who can help you plan entertainment or figure out some fun tours in the area for a larger group of people. 

If you have an intimate party for your family right away, special concierge services can help you get ready for a crowd of services, from personal shopping for your foodstuffs to making sure that your pets are looked after during this time.

We can even find a suitable border for your pets if they need to be out of the way for extended periods. No matter what you need, our concierge services can help you get it accomplished.

If you have a family get-together coming up for a birthday, holiday, reunion, or just because you miss your family, our concierge services are here to help. 

We can ensure that, rather than feeling stressed about the state of your home or the menu, when your doorbell rings you will be able to feel excitement and enjoyment rather than anxiety. 
Contact us today and enjoy your next family get-together with the help of our concierge services.

From our team to yours, we keep you in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts and we are thankful for each of you. May blessings be yours this Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Water Damage and How to Prevent It

Living in Coachella Valley, we are no strangers to water. While we love the beaches and the pools that cool us off on a hot day, water is not always a good thing, especially for our homes. Water damage is the second most common cause of home insurance claims in the United States and the most common home insurance claim in the state of California.

As the percentage of most home insurance claims has been static or decreasing, the percentage of water claims is increasing! It is important to understand how to actively take steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home as well as steps you can take to help mitigate the damage if it does.

Our goal at Coachella Valley Home Watch is to introduce you to different types of water damage, where your home is most vulnerable, and some critical steps you should take to protect it.

Types of Water Damage

In our houses, there may be several different sorts of water damages, and the way these different types can grow and affect our homes is crucial to know.

Clean Water Damage

The most common type of water in our homes, this water is uncontaminated and originates from a pipe or rain.

Black Water Damage

Water is polluted with hazardous materials, such as sewer waste. This type of water damage commonly occurs from sewer pipe leaks. It is the most dangerous type of water damage as it often contains harmful bacteria.

Grey Water Damage

This is water that is contaminated with soaps or chemicals, typically originating from appliances.

Where Water Damage Comes From

Different areas of the country are more susceptible to different types of water damage than others, for example in Coachella Valley one of the most common types of water damage arises from the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition) system. Due to the tropical climate we face, the HVAC is running almost constantly throughout the year putting our HVAC units under a lot of stress. 

These units must be maintained year-round to avoid future issues. 

A minimum of HVAC unit inspections should be carried out every year, although many service providers propose semi annual inspections, including appropriate examination. This should be done immediately before the summer.

What to look for when checking an HVAC system

When HVAC units are leaking it is most often the condensate drain line. If these become clogged the unit will either shut off completely, creating fertile conditions for mold, or begin to overflow.

If you are away for more than a week you should have your home watch service professional inspect this every time they perform a home check. However, this can be very difficult or impossible depending on where the unit is located. Many air handler units in Coachella Valley are in the attic and are not as easily accessible to be inspected. 

The reason air handlers are commonly placed in the basement is to minimize flood problems owing to the construction of many homes in Coachella Valley in flood zones or at low elevations.

You and your HVAC professional should have a plan in place to take care of your HVAC system. Other items to consider are the refrigerant levels and the status of your condensate pump, drain pan, and air filter. These should be examined by your HVAC professional during your routine maintenance check.

Preventing Water Damage

Finally, the easiest way to prevent water damage is to be cognizant of the happenings in your home whenever you are away for a week or more. Here are some of the simple but impactful things we recommend based on our experience at Coachella Valley Home Watch:

Know where your water shut-off valve is

If you’re going on vacation or gone for the season, turn it off and put a lock on it. However, if you are gone for more than a week or so at a time, make sure to have your Home Watch Professional run your water, turn it off when they leave, lock it up, and take a picture of the valve for your peace of mind. We recommend this being done at least once every other week.

Invest in a water leak detector

Water leak detectors are extremely beneficial if you live in a home with older pipes, or just want to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.

Electronic water leak detectors can detect sounds from leaking pipes and warn you when these noises are felt. These detectors can find leaks in water systems, toilet drains, and much more. The quicker you know of the leak, the easier it is to fix it!

Invest in an automatic shutoff valve

Much like a water leak detector, automatic shutoff valves are used to monitor the water coming into your home. However, automatic shutoff valves do this through pressure instead of acoustics. This valve monitors the pressure of your plumbing system and cuts the water off when it detects a pressure imbalance. These valves save many homes from water damage each year and may even get you a discount on your home insurance!

Closing Thoughts

Whether you are a full-time resident or seasonal, keeping a well-maintained home is key to your investment. We have had the opportunity to discuss several different types of water damage, several of the most common ways issues can arise, and steps you can take to prevent or mitigate that damage to protect your home. If you need a home watch exterior, interior, concierge services in Coachella Valley, contact us at Coachella Valley Home Watch!

Condensate Line: How to clean and care?

The Critical Role of Condensate Lines

Everyone knows that an HVAC unit is responsible for keeping the home at the homeowner’s preferred temperature; it’s thought of as the system’s primary role. Equally important, however, is the dehumidification your HVAC unit provides. In older window air conditioning units, the results of this process can frequently be seen dripping from the air conditioner. That water is the moisture being pulled from the hot, humid air inside the home. 

In the kind of home-wide HVAC system referred to as ‘central air,’ letting this condensed moisture just drip isn’t an option. Excessive condensate will not only encourage mold and bacteria growth within the unit and condensate line itself, but it also has the potential to cause structural and cosmetic property damage within your home.  

The solution is for a shallow catch basin, called the drain pan, to fit under the evaporator coils (the parts that do the actual work of cooling). As the air running past the coils is cooled, water builds upon them, the same way it does on the outside of a cold glass on a hot day. 

The drips fall into this drain pan, which directs the water to the condensate line. The flow is then directed to an exterior drain by the condensate line.

Condensate Line and Drain Pan Problems

Condensate Lines and the drain pans that feed them are usually made out of plastic or PVC, which prevents rust from being a problem, but they are still vulnerable to blockage and wear. They do not last forever and must be thoroughly checked and (if necessary) replaced as part of a regular home maintenance schedule. Some issues that can affect your condensate lines and drain pans are; 

  • Buildup of algae 
  • Contamination by mold 
  • Cracks in the plastic lines or drain pan 
  • Environmental debris  
  • Debris from corroded coils 

Doesn’t My HVAC Service Agreement Cover These Issues? 

Routinely having a home watch service company check on any HVAC lines is important. That is why our home watch check includes looking at the condensate lines within reach. If an air handler is too far out of reach, we highly recommend having your technician clean out the lines as part of your service agreement.  

How Do I Prevent This Kind Of Problem? 

The best way to prevent a clogged condensate line is to schedule yearly maintenance, ideally at the beginning of the cooling season. A trained HVAC technician will be able to inspect and clean your system, ensuring that you have a steady flow of cool air. 

Still, there are steps you as a homeowner can take to maintain a clean air conditioner drain. 

Using this 6-step process and ¼ cup of vinegar monthly you can kill any mold, algae, mildew, and other bacteria or fungi that may build up in your air conditioner drain line. 

Cleaning Your Condensate Line

Step: 1 Turn Off Your Air Conditioner

             Turn your system off at both the thermostat and the breaker. 

Step: 2 Locate Your Condensate Drain Line

             Your drain line is a PVC pipe near your outdoor unit and attached to the wall of your house.

Step: 3 StepClean Out the Condensate Line

             Use a wet vac and vacuum the line outside. Hook up the hose and hold it or tape it to the line and turn on the vacuum. 

Step: 4 Identify the Access Point

             Go inside to the AC unit and look for the PVC drain line that runs away from the unit and down towards the wall. Remove the cap of the drain and inspect for any blockage 

*Note: this is not the emergency cut-off valve

Step: 5 Flush with Distilled Vinegar

             Use ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar or peroxide

Step: 6 Let it Sit for 30 Minutes

             Flush the pipe with water to ensure everything is   flowing freely as it should

Summary 

Issues that come from condensate lines can quickly become very costly for a homeowner. Following these cleaning steps along with maintaining routine inspections and understanding your HVAC service agreement is vital to prevent problems that may occur with condensate lines. Home watch visits can help prevent issues as well as routine inspections to prevent problems or minimize damage if an issue may occur. 

How to set your Circuit Breaker when gone for the season

Coachella Valley is the vacation destination of many. So popular is the Museum, that many vacationers end up buying a home and living here part-time! However, the responsibilities of those staying at hotels, condos, and rentals are very different than when they put out their welcome mat and call a place home. One of the biggest things Snowbirds must think about before leaving for the season or even a week is their circuit breaker.

Yes, circuit breaker, one of the least visited places in any home. But, when living in a tropical paradise there are many factors, especially in the summer months, such as daily thunderstorms, high humidity, and lots of heat that directly impact the electrical well-being of your house, making this an area of your home you must know well. Therefore, it is important to understand where your circuit breaker is located, ensure it is clearly labeled, and know the best way to set your circuit breaker when you are gone for the season.

 

How to Find Your Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker is the nerve center in the home for all things electrical. If you live in a home with a garage, such as a villa or Single-Family home, the circuit breaker is usually located in the garage. 

While, if you live in a condo you will usually find your circuit breaker in the laundry room. Note, these are the two most common places, it can be found. Sometimes in smaller condos, it can be in the master bedroom or the kitchen. However, identifying its location is the easy part.

Labeling your Circuit Breaker

Once you’ve located the circuit breaker, double-check that it’s properly labeled and legible. The county requires that each electrical panel be prominently identified.

Whether it is a hastily written scrawl or simply the erosion of time, take the time to re-label the panel so it is easy to read. It is important to have a marked box to assist you, your home watch professional, or electrical work if ever the need to use the panel arises.

Another useful activity is to double-check that the box is not only properly labeled, but also specified for what should be turned off or left on when they go. Any great house watch service in the Coachella Valley should be able to help you with this when you leave and when you return.

How to set your Circuit Breaker

If you are a seasonal Homeowner or have ever gone for more than a week it is vital to actively take steps to mitigate potential risk to your home while you are away. One of the most important steps you can take is setting your circuit breaker appropriately before you leave. The below is a detailed breakdown of what to leave ON and OFF when gone for the season to help protect your home!

Leave On

Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is a powerhouse in the kitchen, think of it as a glorified food processor. The garbage disposal can rust out and non-use can cause them to lock up. Therefore, it is important to keep the Garbage Disposal ON at the circuit breaker for periodic maintenance.

When operating the disposal unit regularly, run cold water down the drain for at least 10 seconds. A homeowner may also use a few techniques to eliminate rust, clean their trash disposal, and keep it clean.

A/C and Air Handler

The two biggest issues in Coachella Valley for seasonal homeowners are water damage and mold. It may seem counterintuitive, but your electrical panel plays a vital role in preventing these issues due to the HVAC unit. The A/C and Air Handler is the main control of humidity in the home, it can remove up to 30 gallons of water a day in the summer! 

As a result, it is critical that you or any of your visitors never switch off the air conditioner or air handler; the money saved will never be worth the stress of arriving home to a mold-infested house! As a result, turn on your air conditioner and air handler at the circuit breaker.

Turn Off

Dryer and Washer

Unlike the refrigerator, the washer and dryer do not suffer technical difficulties if turned OFF/ON. Further, given the frequency of powerful electrical storms in Coachella Valley, sometimes daily in the summer, it is prudent to turn the appliances off while the house is unoccupied. 

Most Home Watch Companies recommend turning the Washer and Dryer OFF at the circuit breaker due to the ease of flipping a switch vs the cumbersomeness of having to get behind the bulky appliances to unplug and plug upon return. Further, it will also save you time when you return as you will be able to control everything from the electrical panel instead of going to each area of the home and manually re-engaging (water heater, garbage disposal, dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc.)

Hot Water Heater

As we said earlier the two biggest issues are water damage and mold. We talked about mold, now for water damage. The main precautionary measure taken to avoid water damage is to simply turn off your main water valve to the home before leaving for the season.  

However, for homeowners with an electric water heater, this can lead to complications if the water heater is not turned off as well. The reason, the water heater is fed water from the main water line to heat and then push throughout the home, but it also uses that water to cool the heating elements found in both the top and bottom of the tank that is doing all that heating in the first place.

Does turning things off at the Circuit Breaker cause wear?

Over time and with usage, the circuit breaker, like any mechanical system, will fail. Furthermore, the circuit breaker is not intended to be used daily.

Periodic usage, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable for a home circuit breaker.

Contact 760-205-2072 or for more information visit Coachella Valley Home Watch.

How Home Watch Can Protect Your Home This Winter?

During the wintry holiday season, many Coachella Valley’s people can’t wait to escape somewhere warmer. Before Christmas is one of the busiest travel days of the year at the Airport.

So you booked your flight, packed your bags, locked your doors, and set the alarm. You are sure that everything is set, but is it? 

Most homeowners assume that if they have insurance they will be covered for anything that goes wrong in their home while they are away. What many don’t know is that when insurers set their premiums they assume that the house will be consistently occupied. Most insurers can deny coverage for a home that is left empty for 30 days or more.

The type of damage that occurs while the homeowner is away will also make a difference in whether it will be covered by your insurance company. 

According to many policies, water damage caused by freezing of the plumbing system within a heated home will not be covered if you have been away for more than seven consecutive days unless you can show that someone has entered your home every seven days to ensure heating is maintained. some insurers can enforce a four-day limit for unoccupied homes, especially in the winter.

Whether you are spending the winter in a warmer climate or just leaving town for the holiday season, hiring a bonded, licensed, and insured home watch company is a smart move. 

When you hire a home watch company like Coachella Valley Home Watch that carefully documents their home checks, you can sit back, relax and know that you’ve taken steps to avoid costly insurance denials and disputes! And when you return we can ensure that your thermostat is back up to a coming temperature and your fridge is stocked with all of your favorites to welcome you back to Coachella Valley Home Watch!

Contact 760-205-2072 or for more information visit Coachella Valley Home Watch.

What are the benefits of Home Watch Services?

When contemplating whether or not to invest in a home watch service provider for your home or you might find yourself thinking, “Why pay for a service when I can have a neighbor stop in from time to time to check on my home?” But then the “what-if’s” come into play. What if a serious issue arises? What if you need someone to take swift action on your behalf? What if your house has a security breach?

With all the “what-ifs” your property can quickly become an imposition for a neighbor and a significant drain on your bank account. It’s when the “what-ifs” become a reality that it is important to have an experienced home watch service provider on your side.

The best way to attract an accredited, certified house watch service provider significantly outweigh the costs. Whether you live in a single-family or multi-family house, you can get the following benefits:

  • Inspecting for leaks, insect infestations, mold, infestations, and other potential issues
  • Regular visits to your property aiding to prevent or lessen property damage
  • Creating a presence in your home which may deter squatters or intruders
  • Delivering weekly updates with consistent and accurate information during your absence
  • Providing the upkeep and home maintenance of air-conditioning and heating systems
  • Acting as your liaison between contractors, associations, realtors, and virtually anyone that you authorize them to
  • Answering alarm calls and working with local authorities
  • Accessing control to third parties (with permission from the owner)
  • Addressing any problems with landscapers and lawn services to ensure your home doesn’t appear empty
  • Implementing your storm plan

With a home watch service, it is these benefits that will leave you with peace of mind and assurance that one of your greatest investments will be protected and cared for so that when you return home, you enter your humble abode without any surprises.