Nine Tips for Prepping Your Home Before You Leave On an Extended Vacation
If you don't want to remain in your home during the winter, then you may travel to a warmer destination, but before you leave, you must prepare your home for the cold winter temperatures. In addition, you don't want to have a home that looks abandoned because it can lead to theft or vandalism. Here are some tips for preparing your home while you are away for several weeks or months.
Tip 1: Trim the Trees and Shrubs
Before leaving home, you must make sure to trim the shrubs and trees on your property so that potential thieves can't hide behind the items. It is especially important to remove the foliage that is in the front of the doorways and windows because burglars will break into these to enter your home.
Tip 2: Verify that the Exterior Lights and Indoor Timers Are Working
Verify that the exterior lights are working outside your home before you leave on an extended vacation. If you don't have exterior security lighting, then install electric or solar-powered devices on the building or on the lawns. It is also a good idea to have timers for some of your indoor lights to make it appear as if someone is at home.
Tip 3: Clean Your Home Thoroughly
By cleaning your home thoroughly before you leave home, you are less likely to have a pest infestation. Remember to remove food from your refrigerator so that if there is a power outage, the items won't spoil. In addition, make sure to empty the wastebaskets inside your home and the trash receptacles outside your home.
Tip 4: Prepare the Water Pipes and Plumbing Fixtures
To prevent frozen pipes outside your home, drain the items completely along with wrapping adhesive insulation around the pipes. Use special formfitting insulating covers over the faucets outside your home. You should also insulate any interior pipes that are exposed to cold air. Before you leave home, you can turn off the water at the main valve to prevent any bursting pipes.
Tip 5: Check the Batteries in Your Home's Smoke Detectors
You should have several smoke detectors in your home, and before you leave home, replace the batteries before testing the devices. If a fire does occur in your home, then the noise from the alarm will alert your neighbors.
Tip 6: Install an Automated Security System
For additional protection from theft or fire, you can install an automated security system that will alert you remotely when a problem occurs. You can have a security system that alerts you with your smartphone or a computer, and the equipment can also alert law officials or firefighters.
Tip 7: Stop Your Mail and Other Deliveries
A home that has a porch covered with boxes, newspapers or mail is seen easily by anyone passing by, so you must contact the appropriate individuals to stop your deliveries. For additional protection, have a relative drive past your home to collect things from the porch or mailbox.
Tip 8: Make Sure that the Heating Equipment Is Working
Despite turning off the main water valve to your home, you should have the heat turned on. You can reduce the temperature level so that the items in your home along with the building’s materials aren’t damaged by a lack of heat.
Tip 9: Unplug Unneeded Electronics and Appliances
To protect your appliances or electronics, you can unplug many of the items, but you should leave freezers and refrigerators operating to prevent any foul odors in the insulation.