Before You Leave on Vacation...
Consider these things to ensure a happy return from your vacation:
Turn off the main water supply; Closing the valve on the main water supply will cut off water to the house. Although there will still be some water in the lines, the damage will be far less if there is a leak while you are gone.
Check your sump pump; Rainwater can also be an issue if your sump pump fails while you are gone and a rainstorm comes. This could flood your basement. Dump a bucket of water in your sump crock and make sure it turns on and pumps the water out. Another good idea is to have a battery backup in case the power goes out during a rainstorm while you are gone.
Turn up the thermostat to save energy; You can save on energy costs by turning up the thermostat while you are away. With programmable thermostats you can set the temp to 85 for example, and then have it go back to 72 when you return. Do not turn off the A/C or furnace while you are gone. This will help air circulate to avoid condensation.
Unplug electronics that are not protected; If any electronics are plugged into the wall instead of a surge protector, unplug them. If they are plugged into a surge protector you can flip the switch to turn them off. This will also save on energy.
Light rooms with timers; To make your house seem occupied you can set timers to turn on and off some lights in the house. This will make your house less appealing for burglars. Timers cost only about $10, a minimal cost to help protect your house.
Be Smart About Your Social Sharing; Nothing tells the world "I'm on vacation for a week!" like Tweeting "I'm on vacation for a week! #YoureAllJealous". Social media is a large part of many people's lives. It's important to combat your information getting into the wrong hands, by familiarizing yourself with each platform's privacy settings and ensure that you are only sharing what you want with whom you want. You may also want to consider posting trip posts and pictures AFTER you've returned home if you have any "followers" that you don't know personally.
Use a Buddy System; There are a variety of benefits to have someone stop by to look in on your place while you're away. It gives you peace of mind, ensures there is someone visibly around the property to deter criminals, it keeps you aware if any issues that may arise. We encourage homeowners to enlist the help of a friend, family member, or neighbour to check in on their home. Should your area experience any extreme weather, it's valuable to have someone who can either confirm that your home's systems are functioning normally or assist you in dealing with any issues that have arisen. Tip: Make sure if you have home delivery of newspapers and/or mail that you have someone go by to get it or suspend your service until you return. Mail out front is a tell tale sign that someone hasn't been home for a while.
Update Your Security Company; Remember to update your alarm company with up to date contact info for you and an emergency contact. It can be easy to forget that your Mother-in-law changed her phone number or your best friend moved away. So make sure they are up to date before you leave with details on your trip and correct contact info if anything comes up.
Carsondunlop.com Book Your Inspection Today 262-860-0766
Nick Jewett is the owner of Pro-Tech Home Inspection LLC and is Wisconsin State licensed and Nationally certified. Pro-Tech offers quality and thorough inspection services as well as radon testing in the Milwaukee area.