Going Away for Spring Break?
Here are some tips to protect your home when you are away:
1. Consider turning off the water at the main valve in your home – the greatest risk to your home is from water (leaks, weather). We don’t recommend turning off those little valves near your toilet or under sinks since they can break easily. Reason you would not shut off the main include a humidity or boiler heating system that needs an active water supply.
2. Do NOT turn off the gas. Maybe put your water heater on vacation mode. If you turn off the gas then the pilot light will go out.
3. Make sure that all of your windows are closed and locked – someone may have opened them and forgotten to close and lock securely. Check the windows in back as well as the side, deck and garage entry doors too.
4. Don’t set the heat too low. 55 F is a minimum target, 65 F is better. Though we are well on the way to warmer weather in NOVA, check the forecast before you leave. Likewise, it is still cold (and snowy) in parts of the US. If you are driving then don’t forget a snow scraper and some additional washer fluid. You don’t want to have to buy those things on the road…
5. Outside hose bibs – Turn them off inside. If water is on and there is a leak then it will run and run (and run).
6. Set multiple timers with alternate times if you can and vary between music and lights. Put valuables away and out of view (same with items in car – make sure the car is locked too).
7. Close blinds on French/patio doors. Remember to wedge the door with a broomstick, 2×2 or a purpose built locking bar.
8. Turn off your PC and WIFI router – unless you will need to remote in for access to a file or server. No need to project the SSID if no one is around. DO NOT say anything on social media that you will be away!!
9. Cancel deliveries if an extended absence – nothing gives away an empty home like papers piling up in the driveway. Consider stopping mail too.
10. Have someone reliable (like Golden Rule) look in on your home periodically if you are going away for spring break to make sure things are ok (and stay that way…;-)