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Protecting Your Home While Empty

Many of the houses that we do estate sales for have been empty for months, and sometimes even years.

Unfortunately, by the time we get there, many items that would have been saleable have been destroyed.

While the first thought is to guard against personal intruders, there are many other more important – and destructive – intruders to worry about.

These are black mold, mice and moths.

If you think that the home is going to be empty for a while, I urge you to consider taking the following preventive measures.

To guard against black mold, install dehumidifiers in as many rooms as possible – especially the basement rooms. Moisture has an insidious way of creeping into a house and creating mold, making all of those “valuable treasures” worthless.

Plus it creates a health hazard to both our workers and our customers.

If you are worried about lower areas flooding, I suggest that you move anything of value to an upper floor.

If you don’t want to invest in dehumifiers, then try DampRid. Damp Rid is a very simple product. It is mostly made of anhydrous calcium chloride. The chemical is what they call deliquescent, meaning that it absorbs so much moisture from the air that it dissolves. It can be ordered from Amazon or hardware stores.

Mice are another huge problem. I can’t tell you how many boxes of “good stuff” that we have opened only to find that they have been destroyed by mice. Antique books, lace, fabric, furniture and vintage items are easily destroyed by mice

I suggest that you use mice sensors. These can also be ordered from Amazon or purchased at hardware stores. They plug in and are the most humane way to ward off mice and other small rodents. The last thing that you want is to have a mouse sitting in a mouse trap for several months.

The other destructive item is moths. We all remember the moth balls that our parents put in drawers and closets. They weren’t crazy – moths can be very destructive. I have seen them chew through entire closets of previously valuable clothes and linens.

To protect, get one of the items now available for sale. It will protect a lot of items that can be turned around and sold or donated.