Protect the Home While Away on Summer Vacation with these 6 Tips
Homeowners should always prepare their homes when planning to be away for a week or more.
“Unoccupied homes are at a greater risk for water damage and theft,” says Michael Petri, owner of Petri Plumbing & Heating. “Fortunately, there are a few easy things that a homeowner can do to protect their homes while they’re away.”
Here are some suggestions that are important to consider when the home will be empty for at least a week:
- Change water heater settings – Some water heaters have a vacation mode setting. Petri recommends turning the water heater on that setting so that it will lower the heater’s internal water temperature and reduce utility bills. If the water heater does not have this mode, turn the temperature down a few degrees to save energy.
- Clean your garbage disposal – To prevent any unpleasant odors when returning home from vacation, flush out the garbage disposal with ½ cup distilled white vinegar and hot water while letting it run.
- Turn off the water main valve – Water damage is the No. 1 cause of problems that occur while a homeowner is out of town. Turn off the water main valve that leads into the home. A leaking water pipe can cause thousands of dollars in damage if left untreated.
- Do a faucet check – Check all the faucets in the home to make sure none are dripping. Drips over a week or more can add additional dollars to your water bill.
- Set one lamp on a timer – Burglars prey on easy targets and look for homes that appear empty. It is best to set a lamp on a timer to make it appear that someone is in the home at all times.
- Address standing toilet water – To prevent the ring that often occurs from standing water, add ½ cup of chlorine bleach to the toilet bowl and let sit until residents return home.
Be safe on your travels and enjoy your vacation without having to worry about the plumbing issues.