Got vacation plans? Some of you may be planning that final summer vacation before the kids head back to school. But, before you leave on your next trip, follow this pre-vacation home maintenance checklist to protect your house from intruders and potential disasters while you’re away.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to housesit: Have them water your plants, feed your pets, check the mail, and make sure everything looks okay. You can even ask a neighbor to park in your driveway so it looks like someone’s home.
- Take out the trash (and bring the can back in): To avoid coming home to a stinky kitchen, take out the trash the night before your trip. But don’t leave the garage can on the curb, or it could blow away if a storm rolls in.
- Clean out the fridge: Get rid of perishables that are bound to expire while you’re gone, including fresh produce and dairy products. Consider freezing a recent leftover so you have dinner when you get back into town.
- Run the dishwasher: No one wants to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. Even if the dishwasher isn’t full yet, run it one last time before you leave.
- Turn off the water supply: Once the dishwasher cycle is complete, cut off the main water supply to prevent leaks and flooding. (Ask a plumber for help if you don’t know where the main water shut-off valve is located.) Then, set the water heater to low for energy savings while you’re away.
- Unplug electronics and small appliances: This tip saves you money by eliminating standby energy use. More importantly, it prevents power surges that could damage your electronics or cause an electrical fire.
- Set the thermostat to “vacation mode”: Choose an energy-saving setting, such as 85 degrees, but don’t turn off the AC completely to avoid skyrocketing indoor temperatures. If you have a Wi-Fi thermostat, you should receive alerts about higher-than-normal temperatures, a sign that something’s wrong with your air conditioner. For your peace of mind, you may want to ask a neighbor to go check it out.
- Close and lock all windows and doors: Double-check that your home is secure before leaving on vacation. This not only keeps intruders out but prevents rain and wind from entering as well.
- Set your lights on timers: Intruders are unlikely to break into a well-lit home, so set up light timers to fake them out. Old-school timers are effective, but multi-programmable smart outlets are even more convincing.
- Put a hold on your newspaper and mail: If you’ll be gone for at least a few days, it’s wise to pause your mail and newspaper delivery service. Avoid placing online orders leading up to your trip as well, so you don’t fall prey to porch pirates.
The last thing you want is to return from vacation to a damaged home. If this happens to you, rest assured that DKI is just a phone call away. Contact us at 877-533-0210 to request 24-hour emergency restoration services in your area.