Your vacation should be relaxing and worry-free. Before you take off for the holidays, take some time to prepare your home. In Anchorage, we talk a lot about “winterizing” a home for vacancy and possible freezing. It’s also a good idea to prepare your home before you leave on any long summer trip. Then, any problems on the home front are just one less thing to worry about.
An empty house is like an open invitation to burglars. These old school tricks keep your house looking occupied:
Water damage caused by leaking or busted pipes can be devastating. If no one is home to shut off the water, an enormous quantity of water can flood a house and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. The additional time before clean up begins will contribute to more mold growth.
If a house is to be vacant for a long time, you may turn off the water supply to toilets. However, run a test– at least one day before you go, turn off the water at the wall, but put a paper towel below the handle. Check in the morning that there are no drips.
Under the kitchen sink is the most dangerous area; inspect every inch with a flashlight.
Over time, any appliance will degrade; the connections crack and water leaks. Most commonly, the refrigerator, garbage disposal, and dishwasher connections (where the cold-water supply line comes in or where the hot-water line goes out) begin to leak.
Flush your water heater before you go; use this chance to inspect for wear and tear. Then put the water heater in “vacation” mode. Long-term water heater leaks that go unnoticed can cause widespread damage as moisture saturates drywall and wicks outward from the source, creating a perfect environment for mold to cultivate. If you find that an appliance has caused any amount of water damage to your home or business, contact a professional water damage restoration team like TCM Restoration.
Set your thermostat to a setting that is a little warmer but which still protects your plants, pets, and furnishings. Even if you don’t want the a/c on for your comfort, (for the few Alaskans that have a/c) the system will remove built-up moisture vapor in the air.
To avoid the possibility of an appliance breakdown while you’re away, unplug small appliances and electronic devices. Alert the alarm service of your travel dates.
Of all the problems you might have when you leave, water leaks are the most damaging. Many leaks are caused by predictable failures: hot water heater, A/C overflow, kitchen sinks. You can proactively monitor these weak links in the home. Choose individual sensors or install a more comprehensive solution.
Moisture sensor automatic water shut off systems work by leaving physical discs where you predict there might be a future leak; they then shut off your water supply. To sufficiently protect your home, you will probably need over 10 placed in various areas of your home: around toilets, washing machines, and hot water heaters.
A whole home leak detection system detects continuous flow anywhere in the home for an extended period of time. For example, an eroded toilet flapper that runs continuously would trigger the sensor to shut off that appliance.