Preparing Your Home for Regular and Extended Vacations
Going away for a period of time means you are either leaving your home for a vacation or going on extended stay. Either way we all go with concerns for what may happen to our home while we are gone, what services have we forgotten to cancel and how secure is our home while gone. Hopefully the following list will help prepare your home and yourselves for vacation and give you more piece of mind and avert potential problems or disasters. Kaufman Homes can do many of these items for you or do a consultation on the proper ways to do preparation.
- Have newspaper and mail stopped or regularly picked up by a designated person
- Have bottled water service stopped.
- Turn off gas to water heater or turn down temperature to conserve energy.
- Let your trusted yard service company know that you will be gone and to keep their eyes open and give them your cell # or a trusted persons #.
- Ask a designated person to check periodically on your home.
- Make sure a designated person knows where the water main shut-off is located in the event of a broken pipe.
- Set timers on interior lights to deter burglars
- Unplug TV, computer and appliances susceptible to lightning and power surges. Or install a whole house surge protection system.
- Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended vacation. In case of an alarm who will they call?
- Turn off water valves to your washing machine, ice maker and dishwasher
- Take jewelry and valuable papers to a safe deposit box or a personal fireproof safe.
- Call your credit card company and inform them where you will be going so when they see an unusual spending pattern that they don’t cancel or suspend your credit card.
- Turn off your waterfalls or water feature or have a designated person check periodically to see that it is working properly or to feed the fish if necessary.
- Always give phone numbers of where you can be reached on vacation to trusted relatives, neighbors or friends.
- Be willing to reciprocate to those who have helped you while you were on vacation.
- Inform trusted yard Maintenance Company that you will be gone and who to call if have a problem or observe a problem.
- When going on an extended vacation, especially during the winter months, turn off water meter on the street side to keep water meter from potentially freezing. If an extended cold period happens while you are gone, and there is no daily water running through the meter, the stagnant water in the meter and water line gets colder each day and as the cold weather continues it may freeze the meter solid and when it thaws the bottom of the meter is designed to break but water will run on the ground until someone turns the meter off on the street side. If you have an indoor fire sprinkler system do not turn off water meter, but instead insulate the meter by putting insulation on and around the meter.
- Some people suggest leaving an outside faucet dripping but that wastes a lot of water and also freezing weather will cause the dripping water on the ground to build up unnecessary ice.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach non insulated pipes under sinks and where appliances are near exterior walls. This is especially important with older homes which may not have much or any wall insulation.
- Turn off gas to water heater if gone for extended period of time.
So there is the list and the various ways that you could prepare your home for vacation. It is pretty long and we know that people are busy and because of that we are excited to annouce that our Home Repair Services division can easily take on any of these tasks and take more off your plate.
Kaufman Homes and our Home Repair Services team would love to help you with whatever projects small or large you have for us. Please don’t hesitate to call 503-370-8390 to schedule an appointment.