Prepping Your Home for a Vacation
Are you headed out on a vacation this summer? From theft issues to issues with plumbing, there’s a lot that can go wrong while you are out of town… make sure that your home is safe! There is a lot that you can do to prepare your home so that you feel more comfortable leaving. Don’t forget to follow these 10 tips before you head out the door:
1. Make your home appear occupied
If you’re planning on going on a trip, make sure that your home is secure. Making your home look occupied makes sure that you aren’t an easy target for theft.
- Lock any external doors, windows, and the garage.
- Don’t hide any house keys near your door.
- Set programmable light timers for outdoor lights.
- Turn on any motion-activated outdoor lights.
- Close your windows and blinds, removing any visible valuables.
- Make sure your security system is working.
2. Prepare you home for the elements
There’s no way to know for sure what weather is going to be thrown your homes way while you are gone, be sure to do some basic prepping.
- Secure any outdoor furniture
- Mow your lawn
- Clean out rain gutters
- Trim back bushes and trees
- Don’t forget about trash day!
3. Clean out your fridge
Since you won’t be home for a while, you’ll want to clean out your fridge and get rid of any food that will not be eaten or will go bad while you’re gone… you don’t want to come back to a stinky fridge!
4. Take care of you packages
Whether you put your mail on pause, forward it, or ask a neighbor to pick it up, you’ll want to make sure that your mail and packages are taken care of. Mail that piles up indicates that no one is home, which could put your house at risk for theft. Plus… you don’t want all of those Amazon packages stolen!
5. Clean your home
Trust me… you’ll thank yourself when you come home!
- Empty your dishwasher and leave the door open so the water dissipates.
- Make sure there are no clothes in the washer or dryer to avoid coming home to moldy laundry.
- Wipe down your countertops and clean the stovetop to avoid attracting any bugs or rodents in your absence.
- Clean your garbage disposal by running a half-cup of vinegar and water through it to avoid coming home to a very unpleasant (and hard to get rid of) smell.
- Take out the trash before you leave, and arrange for someone to take the cans to the street for trash day.
6. Protect your cars/ trucks
Ideally, you’ll be able to leave your vehicles in a garage… but I understand that’s not an option for everyone. If you are going to be gone for more than 30 days, fill up your gas tanks to prevent moisture from accumulating and keep the seals from drying out. Also, change your oil before you leave to avoid contaminants from old oil damaging your engine.
7. Turn off the water in your house
Your just one unexpected plumbing leak away from coming home to a flooded house. When you’re home, you’re able to take action and avoid damage. However, when you’re away, a plumbing leak can really wreak havoc on your home.
Locate the main water shut-off valve, and turn it off before you leave. After you turn it off, turn on your kitchen and bathroom faucets until they run dry. Then flush your toilets and turn off the water at the base of each toilet. This prevents any mold or mildew from building up inside the bowl.
8. Unplug most appliances
Right before you leave for vacation, go around your home and unplug anything that doesn’t need to be on like toasters, coffee makers, televisions, exercise equipment and anything else you won’t be using.
You can pretty much unplug anything that’s not a lamp on a timer or part of your security system. This includes surge protectors as they aren’t perfect and can still put you at risk for damage.
9. Set your thermostat
Adjust your thermostat to be closer to the temperature outside. This will help you save money on energy costs, but it can also help you avoid unforeseen problems with your HVAC equipment while you’re gone.
If you’re vacationing during a cold-weather season, set the thermostat to a lower temperature. For hotter seasons, increase the temperature to ensure peak efficiency.
10. Adjust your water heater
There is no reason to maintain a hot tank of water for a long period of time while you’re on vacation. If possible, you can turn your water heater completely off. If you’re not comfortable doing this, set it to the lowest heat level
And most importantly… be sure to have an amazing vacation!
I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
2901 Ashton Blvd. #102
Lehi, UT 84043
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