Worried about the safety of your house when away on a long trip? Worried about thieves or damage due to natural calamities? Well, stucco specialist have some tips about how you can care for your home if you are away for an extended time. Ensure you have house repairs and wall repairs done before you leave. Create a checklist of what you need to do well in advance of your planned trip so that you can revise and refine it as you go along.
- Get your neighbors and police to keep an eye on your house
▪ Request a reliable neighbor to just look out for you. Keep a set of house keys with them. Tell them how to get in touch with you in case of any emergency.
▪ Request them to remove any packages or leaflets left at your door.
▪ Inform the local police that you will be away for some time, so they can patrol your area.
- Gardens, Lawns, Trees, Gutters
▪ Before leaving, get trees close to the house trimmed and pruned to minimize the risk of a tree fall during a storm damaging your house.
▪ Pay for your garden to be watered and tended to while you are away.
▪ Get your roof gutters and other drainage pipes cleaned before you leave to prevent blockage during storms.
- Electricity, Water, and Utilities
▪ Unplug all unused electrical and electronic appliances before you leave.
▪ You may need to keep the power on in case you have installed timed switches to switch on lights at night; or if you have installed web cameras and motion-activated outdoor lights that need a power source to keep them in service.
▪ Turn the main water supply to your house off to minimize the risk of pipe leaks.
▪ Leave a working water connection open so that the garden and lawns can be watered.
▪ Unless you are using webcams or other security options that require the internet to be connected, try and put your internet connection on hold. Check with your internet service provider if this is possible.
▪ Put your cable television subscription on hold if your provider allows it.
▪ Ask your newspaper provider to stop delivering the papers.
▪ Ask a relative or neighbor to forward your mail or get a PO box for the duration of your trip.
▪ Ensure that your electricity, water, and utility bills can be paid online or by direct bank transfers.
- Prevent odors and smells
▪ Empty all waste bins and garbage cans before you leave.
▪ Clean out the fridge. Make sure it is shut off and unplugged. Clean and dry the fridge. Keep the fridge doors slightly open.
▪ Wash any used dishes and pots and pans before leaving.
▪ Keep valuables locked in a safe or safety deposit box.
▪ Before leaving, take a picture of each room in your house. In case your house gets burgled or disaster strikes in the form of a fire or flood, at least you will have pictures to show what was in the house.
- Make sure you have locked all doors
▪ Make sure you have shut all windows in all rooms with blinds or curtains drawn so no one can peek in.
▪ Make sure to latch or lock all doors that lead into the house. This is VERY important.
These are just a few pointers about how you can prepare to keep your house safe when you are away from it for an extended period. There could be many things you can think of. Have a good trip!