The outdoors is still open, and many families are planning to take vacations this summer. To ensure a stress-free getaway, take some time to prepare your home before leaving so your home is protected against nature, crime, and other damage. ServiceMaster of Baltimore offers 6 practical ways you can avoid coming home from your relaxing vacation to a mess that could have been prevented.
Turn Water Off
Most people only think about turning off the water supply to their hose bibs when temperatures drop, but they should be turned off if you’re going away for an extended period of time. In addition to turning off the exterior hose spigot, turn off the water supply inside, too. If you can, turn off the main water supply to your home to reduce the chance of coming home to a major leak if there is a plumbing problem.
Check Windows and Remove AC Units
A perfectly secured front door is useless if there are open or unlocked windows that allow weather or potential bunglers inside. Ensure windows are properly locked, and remove window air conditioning units to protect your home against break-ins and extreme weather. Consider additional security measures like a rod for your sliding glass door for an extra layer of protection.
Have a Friend Check In
Having someone check in on your property inside and out can help prevent damage. You may want to ask a friend to come over every other day to collect the mail, newspaper, or check out your home to make sure there are no hidden problems. Catching a plumbing problem or potential fire hazard early makes the difference between coming home to a mess and finding your home exactly the way you left it.
Put on a Light Show
Most burglaries are done by opportunists — in other words, if it looks like no one is home, that presents a perfect opportunity for a break-in. Keeping porch lights and interior lights on, or programmed to turn on and off at specific times, will make it look like someone is home. Smart homes are becoming more popular, and if you happen to have smart lights, program them to turn on and off to mimic your routine.
Unplug Unnecessary Appliances
Chances are, you don’t need your microwave, toaster oven, TV, or personal electronics while you’re away from home. Unplugging appliances you won’t be using reduces energy use while also reducing the risk of an electrical fire or damage from a power surge. This is also a good time to check smoke detector batteries and sprinkler systems.
Adjust the Climate Control System
An easily overlooked part of vacation prep is the interior temperature. If you’re going to be away for more than 24 hours, raise or lower the temperature depending on the weather outside. If it’s cold outside, don’t let your home’s temperature get too low, as pipes may freeze. It’s also important not to let your home get too hot, as the HVAC system will have to work a lot harder when you return. You can save energy costs and reduce strain on your HVAC system by changing the temperature while you’re away.
ServiceMaster of Baltimore Residential Services
ServiceMaster offers residential cleaning services and disaster cleanup such as water, fire, and smoke damage. If you come home to a mess after your vacation, don’t panic: we have over 60 years of experience serving the Baltimore area. Call us 24/7, no matter what: we’ll be there to restore your home to the way you left it.