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Home Disaster Prevention: Things to Do Before a Vacation

Ready to leave town? Don’t head out the door without securing your home first. Weather, intruders or just bad luck can create headaches when you return; let Rainbow International help with top things to do before vacation. A pre-vacation home routine is important, but sometimes the excitement of time with the family and away from work can distract us from the significance of that routine. A few preventative measures will help you avoid disaster. 

Protecting Your Home While on Vacation

Some of the following steps are more important during winter or summer months, but it doesn’t hurt to do them anyway to create good habits. The key here is to create a routine before you leave town every time so it gets easier and you don’t forget anything.

One Week Before Departure

›   Begin to clean out the fridge and toss (or eat) anything that may turn funky while you’re out.

›   Put a lamp near the window on a timer light.

  • A dark home at night is an easy target for thieves. With a timer that goes on and off, a lamp creates the illusion that someone is home. You can also put timers on outdoor spotlights, driveway lights or garage lights.
  • Timing your lights prevents prolonged use of electricity, which prevents fires and saves energy.

›   Notify neighbors.

  • They can keep tabs on any unusual traffic or even respond if a tree falls on your roof during a storm. It’s also a good idea to leave a house key with your neighbors in case they need to check on something or let in a home service technician if disaster strikes. Make sure your neighbors know how to get in touch with you.

›   Suspend newspaper and mail delivery while you’re gone.

›   Make arrangements for the pets.

Day of Departure

›   Shut off the main water supply.

  • In case of a frozen pipe, this will prevent water from continuously flowing.

›   Adjust thermostat.

  • In wintertime don’t lower the furnace temperature below 55 degrees. In the summer keep the AC unit on, but raise the temperature to 80 degrees. While it’s tempting to shut your heat or AC off to save some money, it’s important to keep them running: Keeping your home warm in the winter prevents pipes from freezing. In the summer running the AC, even at 80 degrees, prevents mold and mildew growth.

›   Adjust the blinds.

  • Leave blinds on windows that face the street partially up to make the home look lived-in. Leave other blinds all the way down to conserve heat / maintain cool air.

›   Keep internal doors open throughout the house to encourage circulation.

›   If your water heater is equipped with a vacation mode, turn it to that setting. This keeps water in the tank at a lower temperature to prevent wasting energy. If the water heater is electric, you could also just unplug it.

›   Unplug electronics / appliances in the home to prevent phantom power draw and provide surge protection.

›   Lock your oven control panel if you’ll have pets staying at home that could jump on the stove and accidentally switch it on. (It happens!)

›   Lock all windows and doors.

›   Water houseplants.

›   Empty trash can.

*Pro tip: If you have time, do all the dishes and laundry, make your bed and leave the house orderly. It’s always nice to come home to a clean home after travelling. Coming home from vacation isn’t fun, so make it easier on yourself!

Leave in Peace

Should you forget to shut the water off and the pipes freeze (we hope not!), your local Rainbow International can help. Our IIRCR-certified technicians have years of experience in water damage restoration, and you can trust their expertise. Call (855) 724-6269 to schedule an appointment today.

There’s no reason to leave for vacation with the anxiety of wondering if your home is OK. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed, not spent worrying if the pipes in the upstairs bathroom might freeze. If you want to make sure your home maintains optimal temperature and your furnace is in top shape, our sister company Aire Serv can help. Learn more about the dangers of an unsafe furnace and how Aire Serve, a trusted Neighborly company, can give you peace of mind.