Always Home Blog

News and information that will give you peace of mind!

STORM WATCH

stormAlways Home is the only licensed real estate company in Sarasota that has an extensive Storm Watch program.

Our program is professionally run with extensive crew selection, training and supervision - ensuring our members' shutters are installed properly and immediately upon a storm watch.

For a community to qualify for the Storm Watch program we require a minimum of ten members. Each participant in the program is required to have an inspection inventory conducted by our crew chief in advance of Storm Watch activation. We have found that in 80% of all inventories either parts or shutters are missing or installation problems occur. This the reason for an inventory.

When we are alerted to a storm watch or alert we call you and ask permission to install your shutters. Our prices are 50% or less of those you try to call before a storm. Be Prepared this year. Your home is one of your largest investments - protect it!

Current members - Ensure we have your current mobile number, email address and your annual membership is paid. If you do not wish to pay by credit card - leave a check for your contract amount in your garage in the event of a storm.

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Heading Home?

TrafficBefore leaving home here are 10 items you need to check:

  • Water systems
  • Turn off your hot water heater and your main water supply inside/out
  • Sewer systems - All toilet lids down and drain stoppers in place
  • Disposal - Run ice through your garbage disposal and no more food
  • Refrigerator - Empty the refrigerator of all perishable food, remove ice and shut off refrigerator water supply line. Place all pasta in refrigerator.
  • HVAC - Have your system serviced and filters replaced before you leave. Thermostat set between 78 - 80 degrees and humidistats at 50%... no higher.
  • Appliances - Unplug all appliances, including TVs, computers to prevent damage in thunderstorms. Place fresh batteries in smoke alarms and turn on ceiling fans.
  • Run dishwasher.
  • Washer/Dryer - Leave washer door and detergent drawer open and dryer door. Have dryer vent cleaned.
  • Interior - Open closet doors, close drapes and ensure windows and doors are locked.
  • Exterior - Check irrigation systems, arrange for lawn cutting, keep foliage away from house, check roofs and gutters for debris. Move patio furniture inside.
  • Security - Cancel mail, newspapers and cable. Review your insurance policy for vacancy stipulations.

Of course, become a Gold Key member and sign up for weekly Home Watch services, surprisingly affordable and invaluable protection for your home. Our web site has a complete check list, should you wish to download the form.

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Storing Your Car?

carsInStoreWhatever the reason for your time away from the vehicle, you'll need to put it in storage.

If you simply let your vehicle sit in a garage for an extended period, you may return to a dead battery or - worse yet - a damaged engine, ruined tires and a rat's nest under your hood.

Here are important steps to take before you store a vehicle. They will preserve the life of the engine and ensure that your car starts when you return to it.

  • Keep It Covered - A garage is the ideal place to store a vehicle. This will protect it from the elements and keep it at a temperature that's relatively stable.
  • Clean It Up - It may seem counter intuitive to get the car washed and waxed when you're putting it away for months.
  • Change the Oil - Change the oil if you will be storing the vehicle for longer than 30 days.
  • Top Off the Tank - Fill the tank with gas if you expect the car to be in storage for more than 30 days. This will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and keep the seals from drying out. You should also purchase a fuel stabilizer.
  • Keep It Charged - An unattended battery will eventually lose its charge. Get someone to start the car every two weeks and drive it for about 15 minutes. The low-tech solution is to disconnect the negative battery cable. You'll likely lose the stereo presets, time and other settings. If you want to keep those settings and ensure that your battery starts the moment you return, purchase a battery tender, also known as a trickle charger.
  • Don't Use the Parking Brake - It's usually a good idea to use the parking brake, but don't do it when you leave a car in storage.
  • Prevent Flat Spots - Make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended tire pressure. If a vehicle is left stationary for too long, the tires could develop flat spots.
  • Keep Critters Out - A garage will keep your car dry and relatively warm. Unfortunately, those are also two things that make a garaged car attractive to rodents. Place steel wool in the exhaust pipe. Spread mothballs along the perimeter of the vehicle. The smell will drive mice and rats away.
  • Maintain Insurance - You might be tempted to cancel your auto insurance - there is a chance that the insurance company will raise your rates due to the gap in coverage.
  • Home Watch - Always Home will check your trickle charger or drive your car if you ask for this service. Minimum driving time is 15 minutes.
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Personal Property Protection ... Can you remember everything in your home?

personal propertyIf you lost your personal property by storm, fire or theft do you think you can remember everything in your home?

Unfortunately, you will remember less than 80% of what was in each of your rooms.

Worse - how are you going to document the loss of your items with your insurance carrier without evidence? From our most basic to our comprehensive photographic inventory you can achieve the Peace of Mind knowing that you can make a 100% claim if needed. Our appliance inventory is $100. A full photo inventory of each room in your house is only $200, which includes 4 photos per room. If you have collections or valuables you wish to have a photo inventory we charge only $75/hour.

Each inventory is transferred to a CD for your records and additionally stored on our secure server, should you ever have a claim. Don't take the risk of losing thousands of dollars. Schedule an inventory by calling our concierge desk.

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Storm Protection ... It starts with adequate protection

stormAlways Home believes storm prevention starts with adequate preparation.

The first step is performing an inventory of your shutters and hardware to ensure that nothing is missing and everything is properly organized and stored in preparation for a storm. Always Home's crew will perform your inventory and put up and take down your storm shutters and prepare your home for high winds.

The program is tailored to accommodate your association's rules and regulations.

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