Are you ready to go on vacation? Most of us are, but nothing is worse than having a great trip and coming home to a disaster. Before you grab your bags and suntan lotion, check out this list of 14 tips to make your house vacation ready.
1. Trim Tree Limbs
Prune branches that spread out over your house, particularly any that are dying or dead, will prevent a high chance of expensive damage if there is a storm while you are on vacation.
2. Never Announce You’re Away
Wait until you’re home to post vacation pictures on social media sites. Turn off the house phone volume so a passerby won’t see an opportunity. Also don’t chance your voicemail greeting to say you are out of town.
3. Don’t Turn Off the AC
Although this sounds like a waste of money and energy, mold and mildew can grow in a warm temperature within only a few days. By setting the AC to 82 degrees you can prevent both from forming while you are away.
4. Run the Dishwasher
After the cycle has finished, empty it and leave the dishwasher door open. This allows the inside to dry and keep it from smelling musty when you return.
5. Light Your Home like You’re There
By putting a few lamps on a timer, you can simulate that someone is home, provided you set it to turn at dusk and off at dawn. Also make sure to leave lights on at all the main outdoor entrances.
6. Unplug Small Appliances
Having a power surge while you are away, can not only damage appliances but even cause a fire. Unplug any small appliance that isn’t plugged into a surge protector, and turn the surge protector switches to off as well.
7. Turn Off the Water Supply to Flood-Prone Areas
If a hose to your washing machine or dishwasher happens to crack or come loose while you are gone, you could come back home to a flood. The lever handle is usually located under the sink for dishwashers, and washing machines usually have a valve switch behind them.
8. Eliminate Easy Access
According to the FBI, 61% of burglars use force to gain entry, but they will look for open doors and windows first. Make sure all doors and windows are locked and repair any broken glass, especially in basement windows. Bring any hidden keys that would make for easy access as well.
9. Flush the Toilets
Leave the lid up so you don’t come home to gross stagnant water.
10. Make Sure Gutters, and Drains Are Clear
If water overflows from its proper channels, it can seep under siding and flood the basement.
11. Secure the Garage
If you are leaving your car at home, park it outside, against the garage door to restrict access. Make sure to also remove remotes from your car, and to unplug the electric door opener. Be sure to check that the car and garage are locked before you leave.
12. Arm the Alarms
Let your security company know that you will be away. Give a family member or friend your alarm code, the security company’s phone number and your contact numbers. Press the test button on the smoke alarms to make sure they are functioning and change the battery if they are not.
13. Stop All Deliveries and Pick Ups
Have your mail held while you are away. You can do this online at holdmail.usps.com/holdmail. Don’t forget to cancel garbage pickups and newspaper deliveries too.
14. Enlist a Friend’s Help
Ask a neighbor to check on your house regularly and bring in any unexpected deliveries, and makes sure they have the key to check on anything suspicious.
Source: HGTV Magazine