Preparing your Baja Home for the Summer

By Elisa Allen Arias

Many Baja Sur homeowners leave for the summer to avoid the heat, humidity, and the hurricanes. With that in mind, we wanted to share some tips for preparing your Baja home for your departure.

Two Weeks Before you Leave:

  • Cancel any utilities.
  • If you live in a community with an HOA, notify them of your departure.
  • Consider hiring a property manager.
  • Referrals from trusted friends are one of the best ways to find a reliable property management company.
  • Make plans to store valuables that you won’t be taking with you.
  • Donate unopened food when emptying out your refrigerator and kitchen.
  • If you have a hot tub, don’t drain the water as the summer heat can damage it.
  • Remove any standing water outside, and remove or cover objects that could fill with rainwater.
  • If you have a fountain, empty it and turn it off.
  • This helps prevent mosquito problems.
  • Install surge protection to protect electronics from electrical issues during storms.
  • Install plywood covers on all of your windows. There are also local companies that sell custom-made hurricane shutters and doors.

Two Days Before you Leave:

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that are damaged by the heat or could become dangerous if airborne during storms
  • Replace batteries in fire alarms, watering systems, thermostats, security systems.
  • If you will be turning the refrigerator off while you are gone, leave the doors open for air circulation. If you have a water filtration system, determine if any action is necessary before leaving.
  • Leaving a car behind? Disconnect the battery.
  • Have a golf cart? Put water in the battery.
  • Remove propane tanks and combustible/flammable chemicals from the garage.
  • Make plans with a landscaping service for watering and trimming needs.
  • If you have a pool, arrange for a pool service to handle the maintenance while you are away.
  • Leave a key to the house and any gates, as well as contact information, with a neighbor or relative who lives nearby. Make arrangements for them to water any houseplants also.
  • Seal windows and doors to make sure water can’t get in during storms.
  • Clean out gutters and drains so that water can flow freely away from your home.

Final Preparations:

  • Unplug all electronics.
  • Turn off the A/C or set the thermostat if you’ll be leaving it on to protect artwork, wine, etc.
  • If you have natural gas hook-ups, turn off the gas at the main valve.
  • Turn off the water heater, and the water to the house at the main valve.
  • Leave all the interior doors open so that air can circulate inside the house.
  • Close all the blinds and drapes to keep as much heat out of the house as possible.
  • Open the doors to the washer and dryer, the dishwasher, and any other appliance that typically seals closed. 

Keep in mind that every home has different needs, and that community maintenance may continue in the summer. It’s important to inquire about this in advance so that you have time to make other arrangements if needed. Ultimately, early and thorough preparations can put your mind at ease while you are away from your beloved Baja home this summer. 


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