Whether you take an annual camping trip or are more of a skier, vacations are the highlight of the year for a lot of us. But imagine coming home and realizing your basement has flooded. Or it’s hailed and you have roof damage. Or worse! Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make sure you come back to a house in just as good of shape as you left it.
In the winter, you don’t want to completely turn off your water or you’ll risk damage to your home.. However, you can turn off the valves on appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine. You can also turn off the valves on sinks. In summertime, you can turn off your main water valve, which prevents even the possibility of a leak springing up while you’re away. Be sure to set your water heater to vacation mode, if it has one. \
While completely turning off your electricity isn’t the best idea, there are some easy things you can do to reduce usage and protect your home while you’re away. Unplug appliances that won’t be working while you’re gone. Set your heat or air conditioner to closer to the outdoor temperature, while keeping it warm or cool enough that it doesn’t kill your plants or harm other temperature sensitive items.
3. Safety against break-ins
Coming home to a broken window or door is a nightmare. The best way to prevent your home from looking like an easy target is to make it look lived in. Set up timed lights so they come on for a period of time each day. Either have mail held until you return or have someone pick it up for you. Park your car in the garage if you have one. If you have a spare key outdoor, bring it inside, or give it to a trusted neighbor so they can access your house in the case of an emergency. You want the house to look as normal as possible, so if you usually have a gardener or lawn maintenance, continue that while you’re away. Leave your lawn sprinklers on, and be sure that the lawn is mowed so it doesn't get overgrown. Be sure to lock all your doors and leave your curtains as they usually are. Any major changes in your home’s appearance can make it look like an easy target.
Make sure your fire alarms and any other detectors, such as carbon monoxide, have good batteries and are working properly. Throw out any perishable food, and make sure non-perishable foods are properly stored to avoid mice and bugs. Be sure not to leave any trash in the bins. Lastly, do a thorough walkthrough of both the inside and outside of your home to look for any potential weak points or damage that needs to be fixed before you’re away. Do you often have to chase raccoons out of your trash bins? Put them in the garage. Do wasps tend to make nests outside your window? Spray them before you leave.
Taking these precautionary steps will ensure that you have a worry-free vacation and come home to a welcoming, well taken care of home.