Home remodeling professionals don’t just know about upgrading and fixing a house, they are also experts in preventing damage from occurring that would necessitate a repair project.
When people regularly spend time in their home, they can usually keep an eye on things and make sure it’s all in working order. When they go on vacation though, there’s no one there to remedy a situation should something go wrong.
That’s why remodeling pros suggest taking steps to prepare your home before leaving for an extended period of time. Here are some of the top tips to suggest to your clients who are leaving their home for vacation.
Adjust Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling account for almost half of the energy use in the home of the average American. Adjusting the temperature before you leave can provide significant amounts of energy savings.
Sometimes, people want to keep the house at a reasonable temperature to protect plants and electronics. In these situations, you could suggest a programmable thermostat, which can keep the temperature relatively stable, but also turns on and off based on the temperature and time of day. This makes for more efficient energy use.
Even when using a programmable thermostat, the temperature could be adjusted closer to the outside temperature before leaving for a trip.
Install Automatic Lights
Motion-activated light or lights on a timer are perfect ways to make it look like somebody is home to deter would-be burglars and other troublemakers.
If they already have these features, your clients should check them to make sure they’re in working order. They should check the setting on timed lights and make sure they’re coming on regularly, but not too often. Motion-activated lights ought to be able to pick up the natural movements of a person.
If someone doesn’t already have these features, suggest it. Motion-activated and timed lights are one of the most effective ways to protect a home from those who want to take advantage of its owner's absence.
Inspect the Plumbing
If there’s a plumbing problem that goes unchecked while someone is away, they might return to a situation that’s much worse than if they had been at home to handle it. A small leak can waste water and drive up water bills, so fix these before leaving for extended periods. A larger problem may cause water damage that’s expensive to remedy.
Turning off the main water valve before you leave can stop serious water damage from occurring and conserves resources as well. If someone is using the house while you’re away though, you should leave it on. If you have an automatic sprinkler or pump and filter system for a swimming pool, you should run it while you’re away as well.
If away for longer than a week, have someone turn the main valve back on once a week. Alternatively, you can leave the main valve on and just turn off the supply to specific plumbing features.
You should also change filters and put your water heater on vacation mode to conserve energy and help prevent problems from occurring.
Test Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms, as well as carbon monoxide detectors, are another vital safety feature of any home. It’s important to keep them in working order at all times, including before leaving for an extended period of time.
Remind your clients to test the batteries in their smoke alarms before they leave and replace any that are dead or close to dying. If a detector still isn’t working, it could be a problem with the detector itself. Be sure to get it repaired before heading out.
For additional safety features, you can suggest upgrading to a smart smoke detector. When these devices go off, they send an alert to the homeowner’s smartphone and can even automatically call a designated person. You could have it call a neighbor, for example, who could check on the house and call the fire department if there is indeed a fire in the home.
Prepare for the Weather
Before leaving for vacation, every homeowner should make sure their homes are prepared for any weather that might occur.
If it’s winter, homeowners should insulate outdoor pipes to prevent them from freezing. If you turned off your water supply, drain all of the pipes by running each faucet. A plumber can blow compressed air through pipes to ensure that they’re drained. If you don’t turn off the water, make sure your house stays warm enough that pipes don’t freeze.
All windows should be closed in case it rains, and any items outside that could be blown around during a storm should be brought inside. You could also ask a neighbor to check on the home if an extreme weather event occurs.
Properly preparing a home before leaving for a vacation can give homeowners peace of mind and make it easier for them to relax during their trip. It also prevents them from having to deal with damage when they come home. If your clients are going on vacation, provide them with these tips to help them protect their home even when they’re not there.