vacation home maintenance

After a long year of juggling work, family responsibilities, and a social life, it’s finally here — your vacation time. Your tickets are booked, you’re making a packing list, and you’ve shared your itinerary with friends… but have you taken the time to prepare your home for your vacation? Since you won’t be home to deal with emergencies, there are a few things you should do to prepare your home before you jet away.

1. Turn the thermostat down.

There’s no use heating your home to 72 degrees when you’re not there! But you don’t want to turn the heat off, either. The pipes could freeze, leading to a big plumbing leak and substantial water damage. Setting the thermostat to 50 or 55 degrees is a safe middle ground. Make sure you turn the daily program off so the thermostat does not cycle back to its normal temperature settings once you leave.

2. Turn down the water heater temperature.

Don’t turn the water heater off entirely unless you’re leaving for a month or more. Just turn it down to about 120 degrees. This is warm enough to keep bacteria at bay, but not so high that you’ll be wasting a ton of energy keeping the water warm.

3. Check your security system’s function.

If you have a home security system, check it over to make sure it’s functioning well. If you have a WiFi compatible system, open the app and make sure all of the functions work. If the system is not hard-wired to the local police station, you may even want to try triggering the alarm once or twice to make sure you get notifications as you should.

4. Clear your gutters.

So many people return home from vacation and find that water has seeped into their home while they were away. If your gutters are clogged and there’s a big storm, such flooding is a real possibility. Remove all leaves and debris from your gutters before you go away.

5. Put your lights on a timer.

If you have a smart light switch, make sure you program it to turn the lights on for a few hours each evening. This will make others think you’re home, which helps deter crime. You could also have a friend visit to turn the lights on every day or two.

6. Prepare your plants.

If you are only going away for a few days, your plants might be okay as long as you water them well before you leave. However, if you’ll be gone for a week or more, you’ll want to ask a friend to stop by and water your plants while you’re gone. Set out a pitcher and leave the friend a note, telling them where each plant is and how much water it requires.

Complete the steps above, and your home will be ready to say “see you later”. Contact Hassle Free Home Services if you need help with gutter cleaning or other maintenance.