Ready, Set, VACATION!!!
Be confident everything is in order at your home while you’re away with these 12 ways to get your house ready for vacation. There are plenty of helpful ideas out there for keeping your house safe while you’re on vacation. I’ve rounded up the most important for you. If you decide vacation life suits you best then make it permanent then call John Conca at 530-295-2901 and find a home in popular vacation destinations of El Dorado County.
Leaving for vacation puts your belongings and home at risk. Make your home unwelcoming for possible invaders.
1. Make sure there are no easy entry points:
- Lock all windows and doors, even on upper levels.
- Bring any hidden keys inside.
- Repair broken glass, especially in basement windows.
2. Secure the Garage:
If you’re leaving your car at home:
- Remove the garage door openers from the car.
- Carefully park the car against the garage door so the door can’t be opened.
- Lock all car and garage doors.
- Unplug the garage door opener (that’s the box unit attached to the ceiling).
- Lock any doors connecting your garage to your house in case someone does gain access to your garage from the outside.
- Keep any security or porch lights around the garage entrances or windows turned on.
3. Light Your Home
- Buy an outdoor timer for your lights so they come on each night at dusk and go off at dawn.
- Light each outdoor entrance.
- The back entrance is popular for break-ins and that’s usually where the kitchen is located. Bring a lamp in and set it on a light timer so the room is always lit at night.
- Do the same in other parts of the house you would normally use such as bedrooms and living rooms but stagger the timer so it looks like someone is home.
- Call your security company with the dates that you’ll be away.
- Give a friend or relative your alarm code, the security company’s phone number, your contact information and your itinerary.
- Test all of your fire alarms to see if you need to change a battery before you go.
5. Hold the Mail
- Have your mail held while you’re away by going into the post office or do it online.
- Cancel Garbage pickup or enlist a friend to move your garbage cans up to the street and back.
- Suspend newspaper deliveries or enlist a friend to pick bring them in.
6. Ask a Friend to Help
- Ask a friend or hire a neighbor’s kid to help with watering plants, feeding the pets, giving them water, attention and cleaning the cat box.
- Enlist a neighbor to check on your house daily and bring in any deliveries: phone books, package delivery notices and circulars. Be sure they have a key to your house and alarm security codes.
7. Don’t Announce You’re Away From Home
- Avoid the “check in” button on social network sites.
- Wait to post pictures from your trip until after you’re home.
- Turn the volume on your home phone off.
- Keep your voicemail greeting the regular standard. Don’t mention that you’re out of town.
Expect the Unexpected and Prepare for Calamity
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, right? Let me point out how you can do more than hope. In case unexpected damage does strike, here is some helpful information on home repair and cost estimation.
8. Clean Your Gutters
- Check gutters and downspouts to make sure they’re clean to avoid overflows which can seep under the roof and siding causing moisture on ceilings and a flooded basement.
9. Prune Branches
- Avoid expensive damage if a storm hits while you’re away by trimming tree limbs that reach over your house, especially dead or dying ones.
- Ask this local expert for helpful advice to point you in the right direction if you need help with trimming trees.
10. Cut the Water Supply
- Avoid a flood from a cracked hose by turning off the water supply to:
- The dishwasher-the lever handle is usually under the sink.
- The washing machine: there’s a valve switch behind the washing machine.
- Be sure all of your garden hoses are turned off if they have a spray gun attached.
11. Power Down Small Appliances
- Avoid damage to your appliances (computers, toasters, coffee makers, tv, stereos…) or even a fire by unplugging any small appliances and electronics that aren’t plugged into a surge protector.
- Turn all surge protector switches to off.
12. Quick Tips So You Can Return to a Fresh Home
- Flush the toilets and leave the seats up so you don’t come home to smelly, stagnant water.
- Run the dishwasher, empty it and then leave the door open so it can dry out and won’t grow a musty smell while you’re gone.
- Set your air conditioner to 82 so your house doesn’t get so hot that mold and mildew start growing while minimizing energy waste.
- Clean out your fridge by throwing away any food that will expire soon and wiping up any spills.
- Take out the garbage.
- Change your sheets.
- Clean the house: vacuum, wipe down sinks, scrub toilets…
- Prepare a hassle free breakfast plan for when you return; buy or make some waffles to leave in the freezer and warm in the toaster your first morning back. Don’t forget the can of coffee!
Using these 12 ways to get your house ready for vacation you can rest easy knowing your home is safe and secure. If you need more than a vacation from your current home and would like to look into buying or selling a house in El Dorado County call John Conca at 530-295-2901 or do your own online property search. Have a wonderful summer vacation!