July 03, 2017


Being on the vacation of a lifetime can be as exhausting as it is exhilarating.  Who doesn’t love leaving the humdrum of our daily life behind and heading out on an adventure? As much as we love going, how much more do we love coming back home and walking through our own front door again!

Three quick and easy things done just before you leave on vacation can ensure a stress-free return:

  • Unplug small appliances and electronics like the tv that won’t be used while you’re gone. Not only will you save on electricity, you’ll protect your gear from any electrical surges.  (Unplug even if you have surge protection.  It could prevent an electrical fire)
  • If your home will be unoccupied for the duration of your vacation, shut down the main water valve. Sure, it’s unlikely you’ll suddenly spring a leak in the summer, but hundreds of disasters are reported after a vacation.  Make sure you aren’t one of them!  The minimal hassle of turning the main valve off and back on is nothing compared to the damage that could result from a leak that flows freely for a week or more while you’re away.  Likewise, splash pans installed under water heaters and washing machines could save expensive floor replacement.
  • You know you locked the doors and windows. Take one more walk around.  It can’t hurt and you might catch something you missed the first time around.

While you’re crossing things off the “head out to vacation” list, here’s two other quick maintenance items you can cross off that will help you avoid other possible disastrous damage to your home:

  • Do a perimeter check; you’re looking for signs of termite tunnels or lines of ants marching to and fro. At the same time, be alert for any cracks in your foundation or weeds crawling up under the eaves or siding.
  • Are the downspout extensions properly attached and directing all water away from the foundation? In the course of a year, working around the yard and heavy wind may have loosened the connection to the downspouts and water could be seeping into your foundation.

This might take an afternoon, but if it got put off from the fall maintenance checklist, you might want to take time to finally clean out those gutters.  Especially with you gone, if debris is clogging the flow of water and pushing it up under the roof shingles, you won’t be there to notice any leak that may occur.  Catching and correcting that immediately may be the deciding factor in determining next year’s vacation budget!

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