It’s summertime, which means it’s time to break out the sunscreen and get ready for lazy days and warm nights. Summer also allows us to escape to the beaches or other places for long vacations away from home. However, a vacant home can spell trouble in a few ways – here are some tips to prepare your house for summer vacation, and give you peace of mind while you’re away!
Avoiding Water Damage
No one wants to return home to a flooded basement or get a call that water is pouring out of a window. To avoid water damage, take a few minutes before you leave to check these areas:
- Make sure your sump pump is working properly. Test unit to verify that it not only recognizes when water reaches the fill line but that it drains properly when it does. Install a backup generator and battery power just to be on the safe side in case of a nasty storm that knocks out the power.
- Before you leave the home for an extended period of time, turn off the main water valve. This will keep the water away from the main house and prevent flooding.
- Clean your gutters of debris, dirt, mud and anything else. Make sure they are draining properly and that they are pointed away from your home.
- If you have an automated sprinkler system turn it off along with all other exterior water supplies.
Prevent Fire Damage
Preventing a fire from breaking out may not be impossible, but there are steps that you can take to be as thorough as possible to protect yourself and your home from the flames.
- Unplug all electronics that will not be in use while you are away. This includes appliances like refrigerators or stoves.
- Verify that all smoke detectors are in working order, regardless if you are home or not.
- Trim all trees and keep overhanging branches away from your home. In the event of a storm, a branch may be struck by lightning, and keeping them away from your roof is a must.
- All candles must be extinguished before you leave.
- If possible, turn off the gas to any appliances.
Let a Neighbor Know Where You Will Be
While you don’t have to hand over a complete itinerary, keeping a neighbor informed helps with the following:
- A neighbor or friend can check in regularly to make sure the home is safe.
- Have a neighbor check your mailbox regularly and pick up any packages.
- Give them the code to any alarm systems, and provide the alarm company with your travel plans.
Clean up Inside
In addition to the outside of your home, there are things to watch on the inside as well!
- Throw away any foods that will spoil when you are away.
- Run the garbage disposal to prevent food from sitting in the sink and rotting.
- Ensure that all doors and windows are locked.
Even with the best plans in place, accidents will still happen. The experts in disaster recovery and restoration at McMahon Services are here when things don’t go according to plan. We have teams that specialize in fire and water restoration services and are ready to go 24 hours a day 7 days a week.