It’s finally summer, and before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags and taking that long-awaited trip.

 

Vacation in the summer is a time of excitement for all.  There is so much planning that goes into departing for exotic locations near and far!   Sometimes it’s easy to forget to plan for the care and maintenance of your most valuable commodity: your home!

 

Take a few minutes to review this week’s blog; it could jog your memory on some important To Dos before you head out on vacay!

 

3 Things Every Homeowner Should Do Prior To Leaving For Summer Vacation

 

1. Tackle routine chores so you can return to a clean house

 

When it comes to traveling, you can never be too certain about arrival or departure times.  In case you experience delays on your way home, make your life easier by cleaning and organizing before your trip.

 

  • Clean every room so you’re not coming home to a mess.
  • Wash and put away laundry to make sure you have clothes ready to return back to work.
  • Deep clean the kitchen so there’s no chance of attracting pests while you’re away.
    • Clean out the refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Leave only items like bottled water or unopened jars so your fridge can still run efficiently.
  • After you’ve finished cleaning, empty all trash cans and arrange for pickup, if necessary.
  • If you have a pool, make sure the pump stays on so the water stays clean while you’re away.

 

2. Make arrangements so your home appears occupied while you’re away

 

One of the easiest ways to deter robbers while you’re away is to make sure the home appears occupied.  The goal is to make sure only a small handful of people are aware you’re not home.

 

  • Use a timer or motion sensor to keep outdoor lights on at night while you’re on your trip.
  • Arrange for the lawn to be mowed. In addition to making the home’s emptiness less obvious, this will also keep unwanted pests and other wildlife away.
  • If you have a landline, make sure your calls are sent to voicemail after 2-3 rings. Hearing your phone ring loudly without being answered could tip off robbers about your absence.  Similarly, don’t mention you’re on vacation in your voicemail greeting.  Instead, get in touch with friends and family members who should know of your trip prior to leaving.
  • Make sure all curtains and blinds are closed before you leave town.
  • If your vacation isn’t a road trip, ask a friend to move your car periodically while you’re away. When robbers are casing a neighborhood, they’ll look for cars that haven’t been moved to identify homes that are most likely empty.

 

For added safety, don’t announce your upcoming trip on social media.  Instead, wait until you return to share photos, stories, and other updates from your adventures.

 

3. Prepare for potential emergencies

 

Most homeowners can agree that when a small issue goes unnoticed, it can quickly escalate into a disaster.  Avoid coming home to unwanted surprises.

 

Home maintenance steps and precautions to take in the weeks leading up to your trip:

 

  • 1-2 weeks before you leave, carefully inspect your entire property so you have ample time to make any necessary repairs before your trip.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to protect your home from damage if a storm hits while you’re away.
  • If you have an outdoor draining system in your backyard, check that this is working correctly no sooner than 1 week before you leave.
  • Ask someone you trust to visit your house once or twice a day to collect the mail and make sure windows and doors remain locked. If no one is available to stop by while you’re gone, contact the post office about holding your mail for the duration of your trip.

 

Safety measures to take right before you leave:

 

  • Turn off the water in your house. This can save you thousands of dollars in water damage that could result if there’s a plumbing leak while no one’s around to act.
  • Test the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure these are connected to your home’s alarm system.
  • Contact your home security company to let them know how long you’ll be on vacation. Confirm your emergency contact’s name and phone number as well.
  • Leave your air conditioning running on a schedule to protect items from high temperatures and humidity. To avoid paying for unnecessary energy, set the temperature a few degrees higher than usual.
  • If you keep spare keys hidden outside, collect them and put them away, or leave them with someone you trust.
  • Unplug laptops, exercise equipment, printers, and any other small appliances that will waste energy while you’re away.
  • Double-check all windows and doors to ensure they’re locked.

 

Knowing your home is well taken-care of will help you relax and recharge on your trip.

 

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