Before You Go: Tips on How to Prepare Your House for Extended Vacation

Planning the details of a much-needed vacation can be overwhelming, but, preparing your house for extended vacation should not be. Make sure the inside and the outside of your home are ready for the trip as well.

Outside - Patio Planning

First, take a survey of the large items on your patio that may shift with gusts of wind. Secure lawn chairs, patio tables and outdoor cooking grills. Alternatively, move items into the garage to keep objects safe from the elements. Sweep away leaves, branches, or debris that may cover drainage outlets. Clear access to the drain allows for a better flow of water in the event of rainfall. (Source)

Outside - Pool Care

If you have a pool, be sure to leave the pump running while you are away to prevent algae accumulation. Remember to use a cover to avoid accumulating debris in the water and plumbing. A sturdy, high-quality cover is more likely to support the weight of a small animal crossing the tarp, i.e. squirrel or cat. It may require some additional effort to set up, but once the cover is in place, you'll have achieved a better sense of home security during your vacation.

Inside - Unplug, Unplug, and Unplug

There are two major benefits to unplugging your home before you go on vacation. First, it saves money on energy cost. Second, you avoid frying your electronics in the event of a power surge. Common items to consider include microwaves, gaming consoles, lamps and computer equipment. Do not unplug your internet modem and/or wireless router if the equipment supports your home security system. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a lightning strike can travel through cables and wires to damage equipment more than a mile away. Over time, repeated power surges can degrade appliances and electronics. Protect your investment by doing a walkthrough of your home before you leave and unplug as many items as you can.(Source)

Inside - Water Watch

Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to avoid a watery mess upon returning home. A leak in the pipes, without anyone home to attend to the matter, may result in a big clean-up and a costly repair bill. Your major appliances, such as a washing machine and dishwasher, will not require water. Simply switch it back on when water flow is needed again.

Inside - Door Damage

Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to avoid a watery mess upon returning home. A leak in the pipes, without anyone home to attend to the matter, may result in a big clean-up and a costly repair bill. Your major appliances, such as a washing machine and dishwasher, will not require water. Simply switch it back on when water flow is needed again.

Quick List

  • Secure or bring in large patio items
  • Leave pool and spa pumps running
  • Unplug electronic devices (as needed) to save money and avoid power surge problems
  • Double-check all door seals

Following the home preparation checklist before leaving for vacation can help you leave a little stress behind. Spend less time worrying about your home and more time enjoying a breakaway.