As you prepare your family and your home for a vacation, there are probably a hundred things on your list of things to do. Consider it the last moment of stress before you get to relax. While you’re working on packing and making sure all your travel documents are in order, leave some time to focus on your home maintenance checklist.
To be more specific, there are at least four items that should not be ignored when getting your house ready for your trip. Make sure these four tips are checked off your list before you leave:
1. Clean the Garbage Disposal
Sure, you’ve probably remembered to empty your garbage cans, but did you know that leftover food stuck in your garbage disposal can mean a stinky mess to come home to if left alone?
Avoid dealing with a smelly, rotten mess when you get home from your vacation by quickly cleaning the garbage disposal. Simply turn on the disposal and run a mixture of hot water and white vinegar through it. This takes mere moments and will quickly clean the blades and remove any food that is lodged in the unit.
2. Disconnect Appliances
Unless you’re expecting someone to cook a meal or check his or her email at your house while you’re gone, you can definitely benefit from unplugging appliances. Small electronic appliances such as your microwave, toaster, and the computer should be unplugged to protect your home in case of a power failure.
Gas appliances such as your stove or oven should also be unplugged to prevent damage from potential gas leaks. If you will be away for an extended period of time, it also may be a good idea to unplug your fridge and freezer. One thing to remember if you unplug these appliances is to ensure they are empty.
3. Shut Off the Main Water Valve
Coming home to a flooded house is every homeowner’s nightmare. Water leaks, burst pipes and flooding in your home are all easily preventable when you simply shut off your home’s main water valve. This task takes seconds and could prevent thousands of dollars worth of damage. Make this one of the final tasks before your leave since once the water is shut off, you won’t be able to run water or flush the toilet.
4. Set Your Water Heater to Vacation Mode
Most modern water heaters have settings for vacations. This “Vacation Setting” or “VAC” as it is sometimes printed on the heater is ideal when you are going away.
Homeowners can program the dates they will be gone, and the water heater will remain idle at the lowest setting. Then, on the day before your scheduled return, the water heater will turn back on to full power so that you have hot water when you get home.
Older water heaters may not have this feature. For those without it, we recommend either turning your water heater to the lowest setting, or simply turning it off while you are on vacation.
These home maintenance tips are quick, easy and could potentially save you thousands. Make sure they are added to your vacation checklist! For professional help getting ready for your trip, call Express Plumbing Heating & Cooling in Long Beach Island, NJ at (609-361-2727 for expert advice.