Top 5 Projects To Complete Before You Go On Vacation

Avoid Water Damage From Failed Hoses & Fittings

Short of fire, nothing causes more damage to the inside of your home than leaking water from failing pipes, hoses, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. A failed hose connection on an unattended washing machine can cause devastating damage in a short amount of time.

  • Turn off the water supply to the washing machine, sinks, and toilets when going on vacation. If you do not have someone watering outside plants or pet sitting, turn the main water supply off completely.

Did you know most hoses and fittings that come with new washing machines are low quality, usually lasting no more than four or five years? A high-quality pair of washing machine hoses can be purchased for about $40 and is a low-cost investment compared to the thousands of dollars of damage that can be incurred by a failed hose fitting.

  • Replace all rubber hoses with high-quality ‘burst proof’ hoses, such as those made by FloodChek, which guarantees its hoses against leaking or bursting for up to 20 years.

Pull The Plug

Many household appliances draw power even when they are not on. Power surges can damage them and they use unnecessary electricity in your absence. Defective appliances and wiring can also pose a fire hazard.

  • Unplug household appliances like the TV, DVD player, computer, and kitchen appliances.
  • Ensure outlets are not overloaded.
  • Examine electrical cords and plugs for damage. Avoid leaving anything plugged in that is frayed or damaged.
  • Lower the heating/air-conditioning unit to energy conserving levels or turn it off entirely if reasonable.

Home Security

Take some simple steps to make your home look lived in while you are away on vacation. These preventative measures will go far in deterring potential intruders.

  • Have your mail and newspaper delivery put on hold. Visit the United States Postal Service website to easily stop mail delivery for the period of time you specify.
  • Ask a nearby friend or neighbor to keep an eye on things and to collect packages and door flyers regularly.
  • If you left garbage bins out for collection ask a neighbor to take them away from the curb after they are emptied.
  • Arrange to have the lawn mowed in your absence.
  • Remove outdoor spare keys.
  • Ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway.
  • If you have a security system, be sure you alert your house sitter how to operate the system in the event they need to enter the home. Notify the home security company of the dates you will be gone and who they should contact in your absence.
  • Purchase timers for interior and exterior lights and set them so they are on during similar hours you are normally home. Leaving lights on 24 hours a day that would normally be off at night is a good way to alert an intruder you are not home.
  • As much as possible, leave window coverings in the same position as you normally would. Seasoned intruders watch for uncharacteristic signs.
  • Move expensive electronics, jewelry, cash, etc. visible from windows and doors. Secure valuables in a home safe or safe deposit box.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are securely locked, including basement windows, outdoor sheds, and the door leading into your home from the garage.
  • Eliminate hiding spots for burglars by trimming back trees and bushes from windows and entry areas.
  • Put away all lawn equipment and tools such as ladders.
  • Leave your house key, contact information, and travel itinerary with a friend or neighbor in case of emergency.
  • Notify the local police department of your plans so they can add your home to their neighborhood watch list.

Do Not Alert The World You Are On Vacation

It has become increasingly popular to broadcast what we are doing, where we are, and who we are with on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Think about who has access to this information. Most likely there are hundreds of strangers with access to your postings who you would not likely choose to announce you are leaving your home unattended for two weeks.

  • Play it safe and share your vacation pictures and trip highlights on your favorite social networking sites, after you return home.
  • An intruder can easily be tipped off about an empty home by an unanswered phone. Turn off the ringer and leave your everyday greeting. Just because you are unavailable at that moment, callers do not need to know you have left town for two weeks.

Last Minute Items

  • Throw out all perishable items in the refrigerator.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Water plants (indoor and outdoor).

Have A Fabulous and Carefree Vacation!

Cari

Cari Barron, owner and founder of Contractor Hotline, purchased a home in need of various repairs in 2002. The process to find a quality home remodeling contractor proved to be a complex challenge. The first-hand experience was the inspiration behind founding Contractor Hotline in 2006. Connect with her on Google+

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