We are about halfway through June, and that means long trips to the shore for New Jerseyans. Or maybe you and your family are going elsewhere for a little getaway. Either way, summer is very popular time for traveling and vacationing. This also means that your home will be left unoccupied for an extended period of time. It is important that you take some time to properly prepare your home for your absence.
Prep Your NJ Property For Vacation
- Shut Off Select Water Valves
- This way if anything happens to your pipes or water line while you are away, you can reduce, maybe even prevent, water accumulation in your home.
- The most common sources of water damage: dishwashers, ice makers, and washing machines.
- Individual shutoff valves can be found on the supply lines leading to most appliances, toilets, and faucets. They typically have a small round handle. Turn it clockwise to shut off the water flow to that particular appliance, toilet or faucet.
- Set The Thermostat
- Homeowners can easily fall into the trap of shutting off the air conditioning system completely. Do NOT shut off your air conditioning system completely.
- Since all your windows and doors will be locked up to prevent intruders, you need to maintain a consistent temperature in your home with moving air to prevent humidity and/or condensation
- Set your thermostat between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit
- Shut Off SOME Electric: Shutting off major electrical components will go a long way in reducing your energy use.
- Unplug any major appliances and some lights.
- If you can, put a select few lights on a timer. This will create the impression that someone is occupying the home and discourage any criminal intentions.
- If you have a well, shut the electrical line to the well. This way, it will not continue to pump water while you are gone.
- We do not advise cutting off ALL electric. You need the electric to continue to power important things throughout the home (ie: sump pump, security system, refrigerator, etc.)
- Set your water heat to “Vacation Mode”
- This way it runs less energy.
- General Maintenance:
- You should set aside some time to make a lap around the outside of your home to complete any minor maintenance tasks that can go a long way in preventing water damage in your absence.
- Clean your gutters and downspout extensions.
- If time permits, take some time to address any areas that seem vulnerable to water intrusion. Small maintenance tasks can go a long way to preventing water intrusion while you are away.
- Befriend A Neighbor.
- If you have a reliable neighbor or a friend willing to check-in on your home while you are away, snatch up the offer right away. It is always a good idea to leave a spare key and your contact information with someone you trust. This way, if something were to happen in your home, someone will be around to discover it early and contact you.
- It is also a good idea to have a neighbor or a friend stop by the home periodically (get the mail, water your plants, etc.) to make your home look “lived-in.” This will discourage burglaries.
- Dispose of all trash and perishable foods.
Noteworthy Safety Preparations Before Going Away:
- Make your house look lived-in to avoid burglaries, such as stopping the newspaper or asking a neighbor to pick up your mail.
- Lock all windows, doors and set the security system.
- Leave on a security light while turning off all others.
- Notify your credit card company that you will not be in town.
- Leave emergency contact info with a neighbor.
At Mastertech Environmental, we always have you and your family’s safety and best interest in mind. In the event that you return to a water damaged or mold contaminated home, despite all your preparation, call us! A major water leak, flooding or a serious mold contamination makes for a pretty lousy welcome home gift, but accidents happen. If the worse should happen, do not panic. MasterTech Environmental’s Emergency NJ Water Damage Restoration Team is available 24/7 to come to your rescue. Remember, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to begin to develop in areas experiencing major water exposure, so call a professional right away upon discovery. If you suspect the water has been there for a while, and you are concerned about mold development, you should consider a certified mold inspection of your New Jersey home.