Planning to get away this summer? Whether the warmer weather means camping over a long weekend, taking a week to hang at the beach, or spending a long stay at a location much farther away, when you come home you want the place to be as you left it. Vacations are a time to rest, relax, and have some fun. The last thing you want is to lose all that quality down time walking through the door to find a catastrophe has hit your home.
Accidents may be out of your hands, but there are steps you can take to help ensure your home and possessions remain safe and sound while you’re away. As you pack your bags, consider these following tips before you lock up and leave your home behind.
Just as you should power down your screen and gadget time while on vacay, so should you unplug appliances and electronics in your home. Save money on electricity too because turned off appliances still draw energy when plugged in. Additionally, unplugging can prevent electrical based fires should the electronic or appliance malfunction, come in contact with water, or go unprotected from a surge during a lightning storm.
It may be summer, but if you live in a colder region where nights can still get chilly, or if the weather is just unseasonably cold, your pipes could still be at risk for freezing. Properly insulate pipes. If you know a cold snap may be moving in, program your thermostat to have the heat turn on below temperatures in the low 60s.
As well as watching for incoming cold weather, check the weather for rain and storms. If Mother Nature plans to pour while you’re away, clean the gutters, check to make sure your sump pump is in working order, and repair any cracks in the foundation and roof. It may add more to your pre-vacation to-do list, but doing the work now will allow you peace of mind when trying to relax later.
If you don’t already have a personal possession inventory for your home, create one before you leave. Using the video feature on your smartphone, record a home inventory of the valuable items in your home, including electronics, appliances, jewelry, collectibles, and anything else of which your insurance company would want record. Upload the video file to your computer, as well as save another copy in a cloud-based storage that can be accessed from anywhere.
An empty home can be like an open invitation for burglars to come in and take what’s yours. Don’t share on social media that you’re headed out of town. And wait to post all your awesome vacation pics until you get home. Also, put a hold on mail delivery as a stuffed mailbox is a clue no one is home. If you’re expecting package deliveries, put those on hold, or ask a neighbor or friend to pick them up for you. Leaving town for longer than a week? Leave a spare key with a trustworthy friend and notify the police department of the extended dates you’ll be out of town.
Hire landscapers, a neighbor kid, or a friend to cut the grass if you’re going to be away for more than a long weekend. Not only will this help to make the home look lived in and not empty but also allow for someone to check for and notify you of any potential concerns while you’re gone.
If upon returning home from a relaxing vacation, you arrive to find a water, sewage, fire, or mold disaster, know that the Emergency Response Team at A&J Property Restoration is available 24/7. We will work quickly to return your property to pre-loss conditions.
A&J Property Restoration provides services for homes, businesses, and commercial buildings around Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Portage, Milwaukee, Brookfield, WI Dells, Fort Atkinson, Watertown, Oconomowoc, Waukesha, West Allis, and surrounding Dane County Wisconsin areas.