Starting around the fall season, it’s common for people to leave town for extended periods of time to visit family, attended events and so forth. It’s not so much of a worry if you’re only leaving town for 3 or 4 days, but what if you’re going to be gone for a week or longer? There are some precautions you need to take, before you get ready to leave.
1. Maintain a safe temperature in your home. Being a property manager, we have basically seen it all! In the winter, people leave their homes for a couple of days and turn their furnace off to save energy. The only problem is, your house gets too cold and the pipes freeze, causing major damage.
While its no where close to winter yet, you still need to maintain a normal temperature in your home while you’re gone. Check the weather forecast; if it’s going to be warm (above 60 degrees), be sure to keep your A/C turned on and set to no higher than 80 degrees. If it’s going to get a little cooler, be sure your furnace is WORKING first, and set it at no less than 60 degrees.
2. Turn off your automatic sprinklers. Unless the forecast calls for extremely hot temperatures, it’s best to shut your automatic sprinklers off, to prevent problems while you’re gone. At the very least, have someone check on them for you while you’re gone.
3. Put your outdoor belongings inside. Don’t leave anything valuable outside if you’re going to be gone for several days.
4. Hold your mail. Not only is your mailbox going to get full within a couple of days, but an overflowing mailbox is a tip-off for burglars that you’re out of town.
5. Have a plan to get rid of newspapers. Speaking of telling burglars that you’re going to be out of town, several newspapers laying on your driveway is a dead giveaway. Either call the newspaper and tell them to stop delivering it while you’re gone, or have a friend or neighbor pick them up for you every couple of days.
6. Get rid of stinky trash. Don’t leave trash sitting in your home or garage for several days. It’s incredibly hard to get rid of that smell once you get back!
7. Have someone check on your home while you’re gone. If you’re going to be gone longer than a week, it’s a good idea to have someone check on your home while you’re gone. It’s not a bad idea to let your property manager know you’ll be out of town as well, so that they can handle any issues that arise.
8. Triple check everything. Do a couple “final walk-throughs” to make sure that all doors are locked, all windows are closed, and everything is good before you leave.
Take the time to make these necessary preparations before you leave town, and you will avoid many headaches while you’re gone!