Many people plan vacations to places far from their homes for many reasons. Some of these reasons may be to relax, get away from the daily routine, and some would even want to visit relatives. But while on vacation, whether it is for a weekend or an extended period of time, you need to prepare your house properly in order that it does not trigger any suspicion and continue to live peacefully. When doing some vacation-prep work, one should remember that they are not the only ones who would want to spend some quality time on a break.
There are people out there with ill intentions ready to take advantage of your absence, be it your neighbors, burglars, housekeepers, or even cleaning ladies/males, who will make use of this opportunity to have access to your most prized possessions. Here are some tips that may help you better understand how to prepare for a long vacation.
Draining the Pipes
Draining your drainage pipes can be a good way of preparing home for vacation. If you have a pool on the premises, drain it and do a pool leak repair before leaving for your vacation. A sump pump is also something that should be drained as you engage in a clogged drain line clearing. If you have a dishwasher, the water supply should be drained with the help of a pair of channel locks or needle-nose pliers.
Make sure that your outside hose bibs are shut off and drain any excess water into outdoor spigots by attaching a hose to them and letting it run until they are empty. Make sure that you open any cabinet doors under sinks and let them air dry inside the cabinets. If there is a water shut-off valve, make sure that you shut it off properly. Similarly, if there is a cut-off switch close to the water meter on your property, shut it off as well. Once you are finished with these tasks, it is time to call your local plumber for further instructions.
Turn on the Alarm System
Of all the items needed in preparing home for vacation, turning on your alarm system is often forgotten. Like most people, you probably disable it before leaving and don’t think about it until someone wants to break in. But what if there was a way to make sure your house is safe even when you are far away? By setting the alarm with temporary access codes, you can give trusted neighbors or maintenance workers access to your home. You never have to worry about them trying to break in because they will not know the proper code.
Neighbors may stop by from time to time to make sure everything is in order. Tell them the new access code and then change it when you return. Even people you don’t know may offer to help while you away. A neighbor may ask for a temporary code so they can get in to check on things or let the gas company inspect for a leak. This is only one of the many benefits of using an Alarm System to secure your home. Having an alarm system will enhance your residential security system by making your neighbors feel safe knowing you are protecting your property. You can relax knowing your friends and family will be able to stop by anytime they like without worrying about the security of the house.
Hire a house sitter
House-sitting can be a great way of preparing home for vacation. House sitters are often willing to work for less than you would pay in a hotel, inn, or resort experience. By choosing to house sit instead of staying in hotels, you get the added benefit of having someone on the location that will keep an eye on your home and bring in your mail. House sitting is also a great option for pets, who are often more at ease with the familiarity of their own home while you are gone. They can stay in their bed and relax in an environment they know instead of being placed in a kennel or left alone all day with no one to care for them.
There are two main types of house sitting: live-in and live-out. A live-in sitter is someone who lives in your home while you are gone, while a live-out one comes to your house at set times to look after it. House sitting is an excellent way of traveling on a budget. It allows you access to better accommodations than you would otherwise have available while at the same time not breaking the bank. Many house sitters are willing to work for much less than you’d expect to pay for other accommodation, allowing you to enjoy your vacation without straining your budget.
Turn off Gas and Electricity
It is about turning off the lights and using less water in the house before leaving, and stopping gas and electricity from entering your home by disconnecting the mains supply. In the process of preparing home for vacation, be very sure you have switched off all appliances in your house and have closed the taps. To prepare for your departure from home, go to the main switchboard located at the front of your house or in a garage. Switching off is usually done by holding down the switch. In some cases, it might require a key that comes with your electronic box. Usually, it is simple to find out how; ask somebody who knows or contact your service provider for more information. After you have switched off the main power switch, it is time to disconnect gas pipes and electricity supply. If there are any problems, please consult your utility service provider before attempting this yourself. They will be able to advise you.
Collect the Mail
In the process of preparing home for vacation, it is important to note that you will not be able to receive any mail. However, there is a solution! All you need is someone who can pick up and hold on to the mail for you until after your trip. Start by writing your name on a sheet of paper and putting it in your mailbox. Your mail carrier will pick up the note and leave all the uncollected mail in a special compartment on their truck or in a secure box at the post office. While you’re away, someone else can get your mail every day! Be sure to leave your travel dates on the note so your mail carrier knows when to return the pile of uncollected mail. If you would like, you can also leave a key in your mailbox or post office box with the person collecting your mail. That way, they can get the mail themselves and save someone else from having to stop by your house each day. To save time before your trip, consider going through all of your mail and canceling anything you no longer subscribe to. This will save the time it takes your mail carrier to sort through already canceled magazines, catalogs, and circulars.
Lock the Doors
Before you leave for your vacation, be sure that you have locked all the doors to prevent any intruders from entering your home. When preparing home for vacation, it is best to hire a house sitter who can protect and watch over your home until you return. You may also wish to ask a neighbor or a close friend if they could keep an eye on your home as well. Secure all the windows and doors before your trip to avoid burglary. Invest in a good security system for added protection. Put away sharp or valuable items that can easily be used for burglary by thieves.
Remove valuables from counters and keep them safe at all times. If you have expensive electronics, it is wise to bring those with you as well to avoid being a target for thieves. Avoid leaving a spare key outside your house to prevent burglars from easily breaking in. Burglars look for an unlocked door as it is an easy way to gain access to a home. So always double-check that all your doors and windows are securely locked before you leave when deciding on a time to go on vacation; avoid peak seasons such as Christmas, summer, and the holidays. These are the times when burglars are most active, so you have a higher chance of being targeted for home robberies.
Leave a Set of Keys with a Neighbor
When you go on vacation, leaving a set of keys with neighbors is a good way of preparing home for vacation. However, it’s completely necessary if you don’t want to come back to a disaster. Choose the person you’re going to leave your keys with very attentively. You don’t want to come back home and find that your neighbor has moved in or, even worse, the locks have been changed, compelling you to seek the help of a company offering garage door services.Your best bet would be a nice couple whose children go to school with you, you have already met at open houses, and have always kept a friendly relationship with. Make sure to choose a trustworthy person who is going to stay in the house for only a short period and not take over your home. If you want to make extra sure that your neighbor will take good care of the house while you’re gone, leave him/her an impression by giving them some money for utilities or a small gift. They will appreciate your trust and want to return it in a good way by making sure the house is securely locked before they go away themselves.
Unplug Your Appliances
Unplug appliances like coffee makers, your toaster, or that slow cooker of yours before you go away for a long time. Leaving these plugged into the socket will only further increase electricity bills while you are gone. Placing appliances on a power strip is another great way of preparing home for vacation. If you are only taking a long weekend, for example, simply turn off the power strip. But if you are going on vacation for two weeks or more, it’s best to unplug the appliance from the socket completely. Of course, this also depends on how much you want to spend on a big vacation. If you are traveling for a few days at most or are taking a short weekend trip, then it’s less expensive to keep the appliances plugged in. A great way to go about this is to ask your neighbors if they can check on your house while you are away. And make sure that they know exactly where your fuse box is located. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking advantage of this excellent way to find free electricity, so you should always keep an eye out for suspicious activity outside your house.
Service Your HVAC System
So, you are taking the family on a long-awaited summer vacation. Before you leave, your first thought is to turn off the HVAC system. Your HVAC system provides two important functions for your home; it keeps it at an even temperature year-round and filters the air. When you are gone long-term, the system is left to operate without being properly maintained, which will cause problems that might require costly furnace repair and air conditioning maintenance. If you are preparing home for vacation, turn the system off and hire a professional to come and service it. It is always best practice to disconnect your thermostat when your HVAC system is out of service for more than three days.
This will help save energy and keep damage from being done to your system. A professional service call will cost about the same as turning off the system for a day or two, so why risk paying more later? The last thing you want is to return from your vacation and find that the HVAC system has stopped working because it wasn’t serviced. Professional service ensures that any problem with the HVAC system will be detected before extensive damage is done, thus saving you time and money using a repair instead of replacement.
Take Care of Your Home’s Exterior
Homeowners who are preparing home for vacation should be aware that the right steps should be taken to protect their home from damage. Many homeowners, especially those living in areas where extreme weather is common, have suffered the consequences of leaving their homes unattended for a long time. If you want to protect your home from severe weather and other damaging factors, you should take the necessary steps to keep it in good condition. Moreover, you should also consider that there are perpetrators who could easily rob your home if left unattended for a long time. The best thing to do is to hire a reliable home care expert. Home care experts will offer you services such as lawn mowing services and emergency roof repair. They can even assist with fence repair. If you are planning to be out of your home for a long period, it is best to prepare your house before leaving. If you do not take the proper steps in preparing home for vacation, you risk having damage done to your property due to neglect.
The initial step to consider when preparing for a long vacation is the well-being of your home. To help give you that extra peace of mind on your trip, you should take some time ahead of time to make sure that everything will be taken care of.