Summer is the most common time of year to take a vacation because the kids are out of school and the weather is nice. Adding a few easy tasks to your pre-departure checklist can help you enjoy a worry-free vacation and even lighten your load upon your return. Below are six tips to help you prepare your home before vacation.
Simple Precautions to Prepare Your Home Before Vacation Can Have a Big Impact
Take the time to prepare your home before vacation, and you can significantly reduce the likelihood of returning home to any major problems.
Protect Against Leaks
Your fixtures and appliances do not need a water supply when you are away from home. Turn off the water supply to your sinks, toilets, and appliances to prevent costly and damaging leaks from occurring in your absence.
As you prepare your home before vacation, now is also a good time to take care of any loose or missing weather stripping, leaky windows, or outside drainage problems. Before you leave, set your water heater to vacation mode to save on unnecessary costs.
Smart Electrical Precautions
Unplug any small electronics or appliances that do not need to run while you are on vacation. This simple task can save money on your electric bill and will help protect these items from damage due to an unexpected power surge.
Adjust your thermostat to save on heating and cooling costs. When you are away during the summer months, the air conditioning only needs to run enough to keep excess heat and humidity at bay.
Safeguard Against Pests
Remove any trash or open, perishable food from your home prior to your departure. Patch holes in screens or other areas where pests may enter your home. If you are leaving for a longer vacation, you may also want to spray insecticide or set out bait or traps, even if you do not ordinarily need to use these products.
Leave a Clean Home Behind
Cleaning your home adds some extra work to your pre-vacation to-do list, but it will have a big impact as you prepare your home before vacation. A clean home is less likely to attract pests and unpleasant odors, and a tidy house will be a welcome sight upon your return.
Give away or throw out any perishable food from your pantry and refrigerator. Take the time to thoroughly clean your major kitchen appliances and surfaces so they are not harboring any food particles. Wash and put away your laundry, put fresh sheets on the beds, and run the vacuum. Wet laundry in the washing machine or wet towels in the bathroom can create a breeding ground for mildew, so you’ll want to be sure everything is dried, folded, and put away before you leave.
Protect Your Home
An obviously unoccupied house can be an invitation to thieves and vandals, but a few simple steps can make your absence less obvious. Set lights on a timer, put your mail and other deliveries on hold, ask a neighbor to park in your driveway, and hire a lawn care service to tidy your yard if you’ll be gone more than a week.
Monitor Your Home
Even with the above precautions, you should make plans to monitor your home. Ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on things while you are on vacation. Inexpensive webcams are easy to set up and allow you to monitor your home remotely via your smartphone, or you can invest in a full-blown security system for maximum surveillance.
Safeway Home Inspections serves North and Central New Jersey with home inspection services, including new construction inspections, radon testing, and oil tank sweeps. Contact us to schedule your appointment.