Here we go again!
The majority of Holiday Parks open to Owners in early March (with site facilities following on within a few weeks) - so now is the time to start getting prepared to re-open your beloved Static Caravan.
Always allow yourself enough time to do the relevant checks & get your Holiday Home ready - before you take on any rentals for the new season!
When you return to your Holiday Home to re-open:
- Before you turn anything back on:- check your Holiday Home thoroughly (inside & out) in case of any leaks, or damage caused over the winter months.
- Your taps & shower etc should have been left "on" during the drain-down - so now, turn them all off! Turn your stop-cock back on so you have a water supply & systematically turn each tap back on until the water runs clear (+ shower) - be prepared to get wet! Usually - the taps "spurt" a little until the water supply is running freely again! (NB: Even if you have employed the park to "drain-down/up" for you, most will NOT turn the stop-cock back on, as this is classed as an "owner responsibility!")
- Turn on your electricity supply. Again, some parks will do this at the main supply box on your Holiday Home, some won't! Check all electrical sockets & appliances are working correctly.
- Turn on your gas supply & re-light your boiler. (We almost sang "Relight My Fire" there.) Check that all gas appliances are working correctly and that you have hot water.
- Check your smoke alarm & carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order.
- Check your fire extinguisher is in date.
CLEANING (the major task!):
- Everywhere will smell damp and a bit "stale" when you first return!
- There may have been a build-up of condensation over the winter months - open some windows and put the heating on a low setting whilst you clean!
- You may find traces of mould have appeared, this is quite usual & varies from van-to-van, area-to-area. This is, for the most, easily removed from walls or appliances with a "mould & mildew" remover spray etc. If it's on any soft furnishings, you'll usually find it can just be brushed off and if there are traces on the carpets - a good hoover will usually do the trick without the need to "sponge" out.
- Clean the fridge with a mild detergent before you turn it back on. If you can pull the fridge out to clean behind/underneath it - do so!
- Clean the oven before it's first use.
- Clean the cupboards, inside and out (another hiding place for mould!) and don't forget the TOPS of cupboards!
- Wash your cutlery, crockery & cookware - remember it has been stood unused for a few months!
- Descale the kettle! (Once done, you can use the descaler from the kettle to wipe around the sink & draining board!)
- Clean showers/baths thoroughly and de-scale shower-heads. (Handy tip is to put some de-scaler down the sink and shower itself).
- Flush the W.C a few times and clean!
- Clean any cupboards/units and check for traces of mould!
- Check the mattresses are in good order before putting back on the beds!
- Check the actual bed frames are all OK.
- Bedding: check all duvets, pillows & mattress protectors are in good condition (recommended to be replace at least annually if renting out)
- Give all rooms a thorough clean!
- Clean all cupboards "inside and out" all surfaces etc (Not forgetting the TOPS of any units)!
- Clean the seating areas before putting the soft furnishings back in place.
- If you have it, check the pull-out sleeping equipment is in good working order.
- Clean all windows "inside and out" (don't forget the frames and window-sills).
- Winter is the ideal time to wash through any curtains, so they are fresh for the new season.
- Wash/hoover all floors & carpets "if you can: steam-clean".
- The outside of the Holiday Home will be grubby after the winter months. Your park usually has an option to get it cleaned through them, but it may be cheaper to employ an outside company to give it a good wash.
- Alternatively, invest in an extendible brush that can attach to a hose pipe and a step ladder : and off you go!
- If you do find any problems or damage on return to your Holiday Home, it is imperative to contact your insurance company ASAP.
- Take photos and speak to your insurers "BEFORE" you make any attempt to clean or rectify any issues. They will most probably need to send a loss adjustor to assess damage before a claim can be processed. They will advise you on any action you need to take.