How to Prepare Your Home for a Long Stay Away

It’s Christmas time and most of you would packing your bags for a long vacation with your family. After all it is a great opportunity to see how Christmas is celebrated at other parts of the world, right?


But before you leave for the vacation make sure your home is safe. Your home is probably your most important asset, and damage to it can be very costly to fix. Review the checklist below to ensure that your home will be safe and sound upon your return!


Energy Costs and Regulating Temperature


Air conditioning costs can account for half of your energy bill so turn your thermostat up before you leave. You may be tempted to set your thermostat low if you’re leaving during winter, but frozen water pipes can lead to burst pipes, which can in turn grow to thousands of dollars worth of property damage. Simply managing general plumbing in your house while you’re away is not enough – you will need to spend money on heating home enough to keep things from freezing.


Your Kitchen Can Be a Source of Problems




Remove perishable items from the fridge and pantry to avoid cleaning the mess when you get home. In addition, spoiled foods can often leak from their original packaging onto the shelf or floor in the form of sticky liquids, perfect for household pests. It’s always better to prevent unwelcome bugs than it is to remove them from your home.


You’ll Need a Friend to Check your Plumbing


Shut off the main water valve before you leave to prevent leaking or flooding, which will go undetected until the next person enters your home. For absences of a month or longer, ask a friend or neighbour to switch the valve on and run the faucets to keep pipes from drying out and cracking. In addition, mechanical devices tend to run better with regular use, so in the same trip, your friend should also flush the toilets around the home.


Prevent Dangerous Situations from Starting


Shut down all gas devices and unplug electronic equipment because when things go wrong, although no one is around to be injured, there’s also no one to alert the authorities. In addition, you should test your smoke alarm before leaving in case of emergency. In the worst case scenario, a neighbour can overhear the noise and take the appropriate steps to address the issue.


Avoiding Home Break-ins


There are many ways that a burglar might be tipped off to your absence:

  • fallen leaves, dust, or cobwebs on your car
  • piled up mail through the mail slot or in the mailbox
  • gathered newspapers and flyers on your front doorstep
  • unruly front yard indicates no one has been caring for the lawn
  • lights are never on in the home


There are a number of ways to address the indicators above. You may have your mail directed to an alternate address and install automatic light controls to turn on periodically. You will need to rely on a friend to help with all the other tasks. In addition, alert the company of your home security system of your intended absence, and check that all your house windows & doors are locked, including small ones and windows on the second floor.

And now that all these things are taken care why wait? Pack your travel bags and set off to enjoy the holidays!


Author Bio: Anne Flemings loves interior designing and is always in pursuit of the latest changes and trends in home improvement. Her other interests lies in cooking, painting and blogging. She is an enthusiast homemaker who lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids. She can be followed on twitter @AnneFlemings




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