Checklist for Going on Vacation as Homeowner

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Going away? Whether it’s for a weekend or two weeks, as a homeowner there are important steps to take before you go to ensure you don’t get any calls from the neighbors. Hearing that your pipe burst while your sunning yourself on an island or exploring an Italian city will certainly bring down the mood. 

Whether you are a new homeowner or lived in your house for ten years, leaving your home behind to go on vacation can add stress to your trip. It’s easy to think that the absolute worst is going to happen, especially if you don’t feel confident you took all of the necessary precautions.

To alleviate some of that stress and make your vacation easier, here is a checklist of things you should complete before hitting the road. 

Turn Your Water Off

You certainly don’t want to come home to a burst pipe or flooded room, so turning off your home’s water supply is the best way to stop any unwanted plumbing issues. A leak or flood is damaging enough when you are home, but if it is left unattended while you are enjoying your vacation you will return to serious problems. 

By closing the valve on your water supply, you will cut off water from the rest of your home. This way, if there happens to be a leak, the damage will be limited. There will be some residual pressure from before you turned it off, so a leak will spray a little bit, but if you keep your water supply on it will spray continuously until you return, possibly flooding a room and severely damaging everything inside. 

Turning off the water supply will have no negative effects, you can simply turn it back on when you return. However, if you are weary about turning it off completely, you can at least close the valves on your washing machine for cold and hot water. This will at least prevent any flooding if the hoses happen to burst. 

Unplug Unnecessary Electronics

Electrical fires can bring an entire house down, and if you are not home, it may be a long time before anyone notices the smoke and flames. By unplugging any televisions, computers, lamps, and other appliances that are plugged directly into the wall, you not only prevent any disasters but save some money as well. 

You obviously cannot unplug everything, coming home to a warm refrigerator certainly wouldn’t be a nice surprise either. If you are unsure about what is dangerous to leave plugged in and what is not, call an electrician in Cherry Hill to ask any questions you may have about leaving your home to go on vacation. 

Put Antifreeze in Your Toilets

If you are going somewhere warm and leaving behind the freezing winter, pipes freezing is not your only concern. The water in your toilet tanks can freeze, which will cause it to expand and could potentially crack the porcelain. Turning off your water and then flushing the toilet will remove the water from the tank so that there is less available to freeze. 

However, if you can’t get all of the water to flush or you don’t want to turn off your water supply, antifreeze can be the answer. Pouring a little antifreeze into the toilet will keep the water from freezing and your toilet bowl intact. When you return, you can simply flush the antifreeze away. 

Put Your Lights on Timers

It is smart to leave a light or two on in your home to make it more difficult for people to know you have gone away. However, leaving one light on all day not only wastes electricity but it also isn’t the most convincing option for making your home look occupied. 

For added security, you may want to consider a home alarm system - you can click here for one such possibility. Some security systems will allow you to have the lights turn on when a sensor detects motion, and you can arm or disarm the intruder alarm from anywhere in the world. A full security system can give you additional peace of mind that your home is safe and secure, even when you are away, and your security system will alert you so you will know if there is an intruder on the premises. 

Setting your lights to timers will give the illusion that someone is still home and save you a good amount of money on wasted electricity during the day. There are affordable timers at home stores, and for a little bit more, you can get wifi bulb sockets, so you can turn the lights in your home on and off from wherever you are vacationing. 

Keep Your Garden Alive

It can be difficult to find someone to water your plants each day, and if you are leaving in the summertime, going too long without a drink could kill your garden or lawn. Not everyone has an in-ground sprinkler system, and if you don’t, either, a great solution is a soaker hose. 

You can set the soaker hose to a timer to ensure that your vegetables or flowers are being watered an appropriate amount each day. No one wants to come home to all of their hard work wilted and dying. 

Stress Less

The most important part of leaving your home for vacation is having a good time. Don’t spend your whole vacation worried that you didn’t turn off a light or the temperatures in your area have gotten too low. Your home will be there when you return, and if you make a checklist and follow some of these suggestions, you should have a stress-free time away. 

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