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It’s vacation time! Yippee! Before you head out, we’d like you to check a few things around your house. Believe me, this will be worth the time you spend reading this article and the few minutes it will take to check on things.
To really relax while you’re on vacation, spend a few minutes checking these items. Your diligence now may save a lot of time and money later!
Home Preparation Checks Before Going on Vacation
Prepare for Power Surges. I used to live in a house where the electricity went out repeatedly. It never stayed off for long and honestly, I didn’t give it much thought . . . until I had trouble with my HVAC. The first question the technician asked me was “Do you have power outages very often?” Yep. The constant on and off of the system did some damage. So needless to say, I had a surge protector installed. You should do the same – and make sure you have a surge protector for other electronics around your home.
Program Your HVAC. While you’re at it, make sure your thermostat is set to lower your air conditioner usage. There’s no reason to spend additional money on electric bills when you’re not there!
Install Timers for Lighting. Without too much trouble, you can install timers on lights around the home – and on exterior lighting as well. It’s one way your house can “look” like it’s occupied, even when it isn’t.
Lock Doors and Windows. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at how many people leave windows and doors unlocked.
Tell a Trusted Neighbor You are Leaving. Talk to a neighbor you trust. Give them a key, or front door code, so that they can enter the house if anything happens. This came in handy for a friend of mine, who went overseas one Christmas. A small leak in a toilet ended up setting off an alarm when the ceiling leaked. Fortunately, his neighbor was able to let the alarm company in and assess the damage.
Stop the Mail Until You Return. You may think that mail won’t pile up, but it does. You never know when a slew of magazines arrive, or circulars are distributed. A full mailbox is a sure sign of a vacant house! If you are only gone a few days, ask a neighbor to take your mail in for you.
Yard Maintenance. Depending on where you live, arrange for someone to take care of your yard – even if that just means watering a few plants. It’s pretty easy to spot a house where the yard is being ignored.
Make Your House Look, or Sound, Occupied. A car left in a driveway is an easy way to keep burglars away. If you don’t have an extra car, leave a radio on. The amount of electricity consumed by a radio is minimal, and yet, it will deter unwanted visitors.
Watch Out for Water Issues. These are the bulk of the calls into Restoration 1 – problems with water. If you have leaky toilet or faucet, get it fixed before you leave. At the very least, turn off the water to that toilet or faucet. A small drip can prove to be a formidable foe. We’ve had to clean up entire houses because of faulty plumbing!
Consider Your Appliances. The safest bet is to unplug them. They may seem unlikely to cause damage, but even a toaster can be problem if it shorts while you’re away!
Trust Restoration 1 for Help with Disaster and Emergency Cleanup
Enjoy your vacation. Now that you’ve taken care of little things, forget what you left behind and enjoy your adventures. If you do have problems when you return, our team is available 24/7 for emergency cleanup – we’ll respond immediately. Give us a call for more information on our water damage restoration services.