Regardless of the frequency of your travels, you may still feel uneasy about the condition of your home while traveling. Besides theft, various things can go wrong when you are away. However, you can prepare your home with 10 more days to go before your vacation to avoid these issues. Traveling and vacationing should be a fun experience. However, you will not enjoy your trip if you’ve constant concerns regarding what is happening back in your house. Preparing your home before traveling reduces the risk of damage or break-ins. You don’t want to return from vacation to deal with an accident or theft. Preparations keep your home secure, giving you peace of mind while away. Suppose you have only 10 more days to go before your trip. Use the home preparation tips below to keep it secure. Taking the necessary measures to secure your home will help you feel comfortable leaving for a trip.
Before leaving for winter vacation, you must prepare your roof for dropping temperatures and the winter winds. Roof damages will likely escalate when no one is around to fix them. Consider turning down your thermostat before traveling to enjoy your trip to the maximum with little worry for your roof. One of the core causes of ice dams is heat accumulation in the attic. That causes the snow on the roof to melt, eventually turning to ice as it flows down the roof to the overhangs.
Suppose the attic remains hot. The snow will keep melting and freezing. Reducing the heat helps prevent leaking, saving you on heating bills. It also prevents the formation of ice dams. Consider raking as much snow from the roof as possible. Eliminating snow helps prevent the formation of ice dams. With 10 more days to go before traveling, you can hire residential roofers to help you with snow removal while you are away. Schedule their appointments accordingly to prevent the accumulation of snow. Suppose you hardly experience ice dams. You will only need the services of roofing contractors if more than six inches of snow have fallen. If you think your house may be prone to ice dams, have the contractors visit more often.
Whether traveling for a few days or weeks, preparing your plumbing will make you less worried while on vacation. You want to return to clean and good-smelling sinks. The home drains develop an unpleasant smell when not used for a long time. To freshen them sprinkle baking soda before pouring lemon juice down the drain. This is an environmentally safe strategy for eliminating the foul odor from your sinks and drains. Assess the water heater for potential problems. Check for evidence of leaking or any drips. Corrosion can be a sign of a leak in the water heater.
Hire a professional plumbing service provider to inspect your tank if you notice these problems. One of the appliances you must check with 10 more days to go before traveling is the washing machine. This appliance is one of the significant causes of homeowner insurance claims. The rubber pipes connected to the washing machine are susceptible to deterioration over time. Check for drips or areas along the pipe that appear damaged, cracked, or blistered. Replace the rubber pipes with stainless steel braided pipes if you notice any damage. The latter is more robust and less susceptible to wear. Remove the main supply valve to protect the home from unforeseen water damage problems. Various plumbing issues may arise if you leave the main valve on but switching it off is a good assurance that your home will be secure.
Before traveling, you must inspect your HVAC unit for any signs of problems like a bad smell, water leaks, and odd noises. If you notice any problems with your system, liaise with reliable AC companies and have them send experts over to check your system. Before traveling, turn your thermostat down to approximately 50 or 60 degrees. Doing that helps reduce the HVAC’s energy consumption while preventing the ductless mini splits around the home from freezing. It’s advisable to unplug your appliances when you are away.
Ensure the air filter is dry and clean to prevent dust from accumulating in the cooling unit and destroying the interior parts. The air filter is prone to getting dirty, but when it’s clogged, it limits airflow, making it hard for the appliance to execute its tasks accordingly. If your air filter is essential, you must replace it within one to three months after installation. However, an efficient air filter will work longer if it’s not mold-infested. Suppose you have only 10 more days to go before you travel. Hire a technician in advance to complete the maintenance tasks early and avoid interfering with your travel plans.
Preparing the furnace before traveling may not be your priority, especially when you have 10 more days to go before traveling. However, it’s one of the core things to do. To enjoy your vacation without worrying about your heating system, assess your filter and replace it where necessary. Avoid installing a new furnace filter before going on vacation. Where necessary, have your furnace repairs done by a professional before traveling. Ensuring that the furnace is working well and has no mechanical problems gives you peace of mind while vacationing. Check the batteries in the thermostat and install new ones where necessary. Some furnaces need battery-powered thermostats to run. If your batteries display LOW BATT or are old, you must replace them before traveling.
If your furnace goes off when you’re away, you will return to a freezing house. Allocate a trustworthy person to watch over your home. Having somebody check your home regularly gives you a peaceful vacation. Further, it’s one way of maintaining the validity of your home insurance coverage. Furnish your house assistant with various service numbers such as heating repairs firms they can use in case of a problem. Your home doesn’t have to be at the average temperature when you are gone. Due to this, consider turning down the thermostat to reduce the temperature and lower your energy bills. Ask the assistant to turn up the thermostat when you have 10 more days to go before returning home. You can also enable the thermostat using smart WiFi.
The Water Heater
Whether traveling for a short or long period, you may want to place your water heater in vacation mode. The vacation mode is a setting in a water heater’s temperature dial labeled VACATION or VAC. It’s usually available on the thermostat. The vacation mode reduces the temperature on your tankless water heater, conserving energy since you won’t need to use warm water while on vacation. In this case, the water heater will use sufficient energy to facilitate water flow while preventing plumbing. If you are traveling for a short period, you should activate the Holiday mode. You can turn back your standard settings once you return from your vacation.
Newer water heater models allow you to schedule them to the standard settings before your vacation is over. Using the vacation mode while away is suitable for your wallet and the environment. Reducing your water heater’s temperature lowers energy consumption and bills and maintains natural resources. It also reduces the risk of corrosion and mineral build-up in the water heater. If your water heater doesn’t feature a vacation mode, you can adjust the temperature manually by lowering it to 50 degrees Fahrenheit or the least setting the thermostat allows. You can also switch it off entirely from the breaker box. If the water heater is gas-powered, turn off the gas supply. Avoid turning off your furnace when traveling during the winter. Doing so may result in frozen pipes and irreversible damage.
If you are traveling for an extended period, your generator will remain idle until you return. In this case, you must prepare it well for storage. The preparation and storage method you choose depends on how long you plan to store it. Suppose you’re storing it for a few days or weeks. Preparing it for storage is a simple process. You won’t need to empty the fuel tank or clean it thoroughly. All you will need to do is keep it in a cool, clean, and adequately ventilated area. The preparation process will be more thorough if you are going on an extended vacation. Apart from the necessary generator repairs, you will need to clean it thoroughly. It is worth mentioning that different generator models have different recommendations that owners should follow before storing them for a long time.
To clean your generator thoroughly, you will need a damp cloth. Disconnect the unit from the power source before starting the cleaning process. Inspect it for fuel leaks and remove all dirt build-up from it. Remember to clean all the small parts, such as the muffler, engine control, carburetor, springs, and cooking air slots. Your generator may require professional servicing, especially when you are pressed for time. With only 10 more days to go before traveling, an expert will ensure your generator is in good condition and performs well when you return.
A professional will inspect the generator and clean it thoroughly before storing it. One of the core steps for storing a generator is to secure the duel inside. You can add a stabilizer to prolong the fuel’s life or empty the tank. The decision you make depends on the amount of fuel in your unit. After preparing the generator, you should determine where to store it. Store the generator in a secure yet easily accessible place in an emergency. For example, you can keep your unit in the garage. These are some of the common spots to store a generator. Here, the unit will be protected from external elements. The garage also offers a temperature-regulated environment and can be accessed with ease. You can also store your unit in an outdoor shed or a generator enclosure.
Cleaning your house thoroughly is critical to avoid returning to a dirtier mess when traveling for an extended period. Clear any standing water to prevent mold build-up and the breeding of mosquitoes. Leftover foods can attract rodents and bugs. If you have 10 more days to go before your trip, you may not have enough time to clean your house thoroughly. In this case, consider hiring a janitor service expert to execute the cleaning tasks as you focus on planning your trip. Before embarking on the cleaning, develop a checklist to ease the process and avoid missing anything before leaving for the long trip. Come up with a list of all the rooms you want to clean, and pay special attention to the core living areas, bathrooms, and kitchen. Don’t forget the yard and garage areas too. Declutter and put as many things away as possible. Doing so will leave the area tidy while making you feel better as you clean the house. Sweep and vacuum the floors and unplug your appliances to protect them should an electrical problem or lightning storm occurs while you’re away.
The Kitchen and Bedroom
The kitchen is one of the most critical areas to clean even when you have 10 more days to go before your trip. Ensure all dry goods are tightly closed, and no food particles are lying around. Doing so prevents mold and pest infestation. Begin by cleaning all the dishes in the house. Next, clean all the counters and surfaces in the kitchen, ensuring no food is left behind. Check the fridge and throw anything that may go bad while you’re vacationing. You may want to throw everything based on how long you will be gone.
Lower the fridge temperature to save money on energy bills. Empty your trash and clean your garbage disposal thoroughly. Double-check to ensure all your dry goods are tightly closed. When tidying up the bedroom, remove the pillows and sheets and allow the mattress to air for some time. Replace dirty sheets with clean ones and make the bed neatly. That way, when you return, you will have a quiet and comfortable place to lay your head. Leave the closet doors open to prevent a musty smell. Ensure your clothing is clean before traveling.
Preparing your home is one of the critical things to do before traveling. The process doesn’t have to be challenging because you can always enlist the services of professionals to get the work done. Use this article to understand how to care for your home before a trip.