Winterizing is when a homeowner prepares for a vacancy in the cold months. We’ve all heard of winterizing your home, especially in the Midwest, where winters can be pretty harsh. Most people will do this when they are preparing to leave home for the winter. On the other hand, there are cases when a homeowner will have to do the same, but for the warm months! Be it for work or vacation; homeowners may find themselves needing to “summerize” their home. Some steps should happen to reduce the risk of damage to the house while away this summer. Although all homes are different, they are similar in the fundamentals. It’s essential to understand how a homeowner can prevent damage as they head out for a summer trip.
Lean on Your Neighbor
There are some old school tricks to hiding a homeowner’s absence that can be very helpful! It’s vital that the home still looks “lived in” to fend off burglars. An empty house looks like an open invitation to thieves. However, with the help of the neighborhood, that threat can be reduced. If any vehicles are left behind, make sure to store them in the garage. Ask a neighbor to park in the driveway from time to time, so there is activity outside the home. Hire one of the kids on summer break in the neighborhood to keep up the lawn! The landscape will be maintained, and the house will not look abandoned. Even ask a friend if they will pick up the mail and paper, or stop the service while away.
Protect Against Water Damage
An enormous amount of water can flood a house in a short time. Water damage comes from leaking or burst pipes in most cases. If no one is home to shut off the water, it will cause expensive harm. Between the damage and the risk of mold growing, while the house is vacant, this is a considerable hazard. Turning off the main water supply is a great way to avoid this happening. There are also ways to check if there is a leak in the home before leaving. For example, run a test on the toilets by turning the shut-off valve behind the toilet to cut off the water supply. Place a paper towel below the valve to check if the water supply hose is leaking. Leave the paper towel overnight, and check in the morning for dripping.
Appliances and Systems
Setting the thermostat appropriately is important to protect furnishings, plants, and pets. The summer heat and humidity can pose a threat. Before leaving, set the thermostat to the temperature you feel comfortable with under “Auto.” Avoid appliance breakdown and save some money on the electricity bill while away! Unplug small appliances and electronic devices. If there is an alarm system present, set it appropriately before leaving. For further measure, let the alarm service know the dates the home will be unoccupied.
Prepping for Coming Home
A summer vacation or trip of any kind requires a stress-free state of mind. Taking a couple of steps before departure to ensure a smooth transition back into the home is extremely helpful. Take care of small tasks around the house, such as doing a quick inspection and cleaning. Dispose of foods that will go back in the fridge. Additionally, leave an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator. The baking soda will absorb odors just in case. Take out the trash in each room and place new bags in the cans. Finally, leaving closet doors open can prevent musty air; in case it is humid. Leave a clean home for vacation so that the thought of tasks waiting doesn’t linger while away!
Need more information on protecting your home from damage throughout the year? Thompson Building Associates is a certified fire restoration and mitigation company. We are available 24/7 365 days a year. For more information, find us on Facebook, Youtube or Instagram.