110 posts. If you’re planning to go on a long-term trip, you need to prepare your home to be unoccupied for weeks or even months at a time. Short-term: Throw out perishables such as milk that will expire while you're gone. The answer may not be as clear-cut as you think. Window Blinds, Visible Valuables, and Safe Deposit Boxes. Instead you turn it up to about 82 and just let it run. Just kidding! While the technology exists to watch television from home via the internet, most of us do not watch our home cable television or use our home cable internet while we’re traveling. Lock pet doors and any other external entry ways into your house. Such items may include an ice maker, an automatic sprinkler system that doesn't have a separate shut-off, and a pool. Long-term: Clean out the refrigerator; either throw items away or give them to a neighbor. Hiding a house key under the mat, in a fake rock, or inside a magnetic house … Lock your front door. Another option is to have a neighbor or another contact who can put the shutters up if a storm is approaching. Put Cable Television and Internet On Hold. Details: No one wants to come home from a relaxing vacation to a plumbing leak. Steven Merrill takes us step-by-step through the process of preparing a house to be unoccupied during extended or long-term trip. Clean out your fridge and pantry of … They're going to Florida for the rest of the winter and their toilet will not be used for 3 months. One exception to the main water shut-off rule is if your heating system works off hot water or steam radiators, and you are leaving the heat on while you are away. First, check your insurance coverage by calling the insurance company or talking to your insurance agent. Review your policy and talk with your insurance agent. Make sure your security lights are outfitted with CFL bulbs, which save on energy and are long-lasting. Have a friend periodically flush the toilets while you are gone. Second, clean the refrigerator. If possible, put anything that may tempt the contemptuous out of sight. If the property is your main home and you’ve let us know that it’s empty for 31-180 days in a row a year, you’re covered so long as the water is turned off at the mains stopcock, or the property’s central heating system is left on continually to maintain a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius/60 degrees Fahrenheit between 1 October and 1 April inclusive. When in doubt, replace the batteries, and test the detectors. You have two choices. Long-term: Do the above. Precautions for leaving a house empty over winter please? Other items, like not hiding house keys, are just tips that you can immediately incorporate into your travel habits. Before leaving your seasonal home, perishable items should be eaten, given away, or discarded. However, always be sure to follow correct procedure and hire a professional plumber if you have any doubts. If you did you would come back and have to replace large amounts of dry wall. Activate Motion Activated Outdoor Floodlights. Let your neighbors know how long you will be away and give them additional contacts should you travel beyond cell service. Connected to a security system, a water flow sensor will alert you should the water begin to flow through the system. If you’re interested in purchasing an alarm system and paying for a security service, I highly recommend reading articles devoted to that topic. Long-term: Again, turn up the thermostat to about 85 degrees. -- Banks/credit cards: If you plan to use your credit or debit cards while you're out of town, specifically out of the country, notify your bank and credit-card company. The tank won't empty completely, so sponge out what's left in the bottom and transfer it to the bowl. When you get home, check the ice cubes. Also, check expiration dates of unopened items. We were lucky. Thankfully, stopping the mail is as easy as going onto USPS.com and requesting your mail is forwarded or held. It’s common sense that you don’t run around telling everyone that you’ll be away and your house will be unoccupied, but that’s exactly what you do by posting your trip plans and adventure to social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. It’s also not a good idea to change your answering machine message to anything implying your absence. closing up your house for an extended trip. Use that list every time you leave or return from a trip to remind you what needs to be done, and then undone. Home » Important Truck Camping Tips » 30 Ways To Prep Your Home for a Long-Term Trip. Many home owners have experienced a plumbing leak at one time or another. On Sale Now: 2021 Truck Camper Magazine Calendar. The best part of the above recommendations is the peace of mind they’ll give you if you’re away from home. Even if you have your newspapers stopped, newspapers, circulars, and phone books may be dropped at your house. Never Post Travel Plans or Events on Social Media. Depending on how it looks, it also can be considered blight. To prevent sewer fumes from entering your home, you can wrap your toilet bowl in saran wrap. Water leaks while folks are away are one of the most common and costly damage claims for insurance companies. Don't let it sit empty, however. For more information about mail forwarding in Canada visit CanadaPost.ca. Take any live plants you have with you. In addition, our neighbors have keys to our home and garage. Details: Don't come home from your trip to a refrigerator filled with spoiled food. -- Smoke detectors: Make sure they are in working condition. People usually leave their primary residence unoccupied for various legitimate reasons, some of which may well not be their choice. Make the house look lived in: Set automatic timers for interior lights on staggered hours, and turn on motion sensors for exterior lights. 25. • Unplug and clean the refrigerator interior. Short-term: Mow your lawn and trim shortly before your trip. I also turn off the water heater. My advice is to purchase at least one for every floor of your home (preferably more) and test them prior to leaving on your trip. We are not going to be in our FL house for about 3- 4 months in the summer. To prepare your home for the elements, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected, gutters cleaned, and trees trimmed back prior to heading out. This keeps the house well above freezing and prevents the pipes from freezing and bursting. A clean refrigerator will be much nicer to come home to. We turn off the main water line into our house before we leave. Short-term absences generally mean one week or less. If you have a spa, turn off the heat. But 7 … -- Emergency contact: Leave your contact information with a friend or neighbor. Copyright © 2007-2020. There is no sense in maintaining a hot tank of water for months when you’re away. To create the illusion that you have a huge, hairy, and hungry guard hound inside your home, put a big dog bowl and chain (preferably beat up and warn) outside your home. Whether these properties are empty because their owners are waiting to sell them, because they're second homes or because the house is in probate, the issue of insuring them can be confusing. 15. “The valves in dishwashers can get stuck in the closed position when they sit around unused for weeks on end,” says Shank.
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