Before you leave your house vacant for that week-long vacation you probably want to make sure your house will be safe when you return. There are some simple but often overlooked things that if you forget to do them could end in disaster. Here’s a list of 6 simple things to do to prepare your house for vacation:
1. Turn off the main water supply and then open all faucets to drain the water lines
A leaky pipe can quickly damage an unattended house causing severe water damage. Doing this also helps on winter vacations when there is potential for your home to get too cold and freeze the water in your pipes.
2. Adjust the thermostat… but DON’T TURN IT OFF
If no one is going to be home it seems like a good idea to save money by just turning off the thermostat completely. Well that’s actually not the best idea. When you leave in the summer feel free to let your house get a bit hotter than usual and in the winter let it get colder than you would have it while home to save energy, but you should really keep it on. In the winter this helps prevent any pipes freezing. In extreme summer heat wood can expand causing structural damage to your home. Things like doors can get warped and become jammed. Maintaining a more moderate temperature is your safest bet.
3. Let trusted friends and neighbors have an vacation itinerary and phone numbers of people who have keys to your house.
If anything does happen to your house it is important that people can get access to it. Your neighbors can be on watch to make sure your house stays safe.
4. Make your house appear occupied.
Hire a house sitter, put automatic timers on lights, have someone take care of the yard. Cancel deliveries while you’re away so there isn’t a pile of mail or newspapers building up. Houses that look vacant are prime targets for thieves. Something as simple as automatic timers on lights can deter criminals from targeting your home. Stopping your mail can be done online at: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
5. Empty your trash and clean out your refrigerator
Mold can quickly start growing when perishables go bad in your fridge or garbage can. This also prevents any insects or other pests from infesting your home not to mention it is never nice to come home to week old garbage.
6. Unplug electronics and double check that all appliances are turned off
Not only does this help safeguard against house fires, it can save you some money as well. Electronics that remain plugged in often draw power even when turned off or in standby mode. Unplugging them eliminates that from happening altogether. This also helps to keep your electronics safe from any power surges that may occur while you are gone.