If you have ever gone out of town before, you likely know the drill: put a hold on your mail, give a friend or neighbor a key and take out any trash. But have you considered your actual house? When you complete the following seven tasks, it will ensure that you do not ever have to come home to a disaster, no matter if you are gone for a weekend, week or longer.
Disconnect the Main Water Supply
If your main supply line is going to leak, chances are it will be while you are away. A major leak could lead to catastrophic damage if there is no one present to take care of it. When you close the main supply line it will cut off the water to your home, while still allowing any outside sprinklers to function. This will save your home from a potentially devastating situation.
Inspect the Sump Pump
There is another type of water that can also be a nightmare for your home: rainwater. If you have a sump pump that fails when you are gone and a major storm occurs, then you may come home to a flooded basement. In order to ensure that the sump pump is properly working, dump a whole bucket of water into it, it should kick on when the pit is filled with water; if it does not, you have a problem.
Turn Up the Temperature
If you have a thermostat that is programmable, leave your home at around 85 degrees; however, if you have a manual thermostat it is still worth turning it up a bit in order to avoid wasting any energy. The key is to not actually turn off the furnace or air conditioner while you are away, this will keep the air circulating in your home.
Use a Soaker Hose
If you plan to be gone for a few days and do not have an in-ground sprinkler system, a soaker hose offers the ideal way to keep veggies watered. You can use a time to turn the hoses on and off at the desired times.
Unplug all Electronics
You need to unplug all electronics, including stereos, computers and televisions. Pull everything out of the wall sockets to ensure that a power surge will not hurt them while you are away.
Use Light Timers
In order to make your home seem as though someone is there while you are away, and less appealing for burglars, use timers to turn on and off the lights at various times.
Put Antifreeze in the Toilet
If you are traveling during the winter months, it is a good idea to turn off the water to the house prior to departure. You should also flush your toilets and drain all of the water in the tanks. This will ensure that if the furnace in your home stops working, the water will not cause damage to the tank. After you flush all the water away, use a small amount of antifreeze to ensure that it does not completely freeze.