Summer is coming to an end and that means many of us will be taking a vacation before the kids go back to school. Whether you’re heading to the lake for the weekend, a trip up north for some fishing or camping, or you’re taking that once-in-a-lifetime family trip to Europe, you’ll want to be sure to make sure you prevent disaster from happening while you are gone.

At NIH Homes we build beautiful custom homes in the Twin Cities that need very little maintenance. In fact you may have an HOA so there is no maintenance at all. You may not have to mow your grass or shovel your sidewalk, but if you leave town for even just a couple of days you’ll want to be sure to employ as many of these tips as possible. Not only can they help prevent property loss due to theft, they can also help prevent property damage due to the unforeseen.

Tips to Prevent Home Disasters While on Vacation

Turn off Water – Most of us never think to turn off the water when we go away for short trips or weekend excursions. However, water damage is the #1 cause of property damage to the home when a homeowner is on vacation or otherwise away for any length of time. It’s not storm damage, robbery or even teenagers. Turn off the water if you’re going to be away from home for more than a day.

Repair Faucets – A leaky faucet probably won’t turn into a huge problem while you are gone, but it can cause stains depending on your water source and it will certain increase your water bill over time. Leaky faucets are usually an easy fix so check it off your to-do list and enjoy your vacation.

Stop Newspaper – If you still get the newspaper, remember to have them suspend service while you are away. Alternatively you can ask a neighbor to pick up your newspapers and mail so your home doesn’t look empty and becomes an invitation to would-be burglars.

Stop Mail – Nothing screams an empty home like a mailbox stuffed with mail or packages left at the door. Suspend mail service if you go on vacation. For weekend jaunts it’s fine to ask the neighbors to grab your mail and newspapers, but for longer forays you’ll want to be confident there aren’t packages, magazines and bills strewn all over the front porch.

Clean Garbage Disposal – Nothing kills the afterglow of a wonderful vacation like a stinky home. Clean out your garbage disposal before you leave with a 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar poured down the drain while the disposal is turned on, let it run for at least 30 seconds with the water on.

Leave a Light On – We offer many smart home options when building a custom home, but if you don’t have a smart home there’re still a few low tech things you can do to make your home look as though someone is home. Leaving a light on is an easy way to make your home looked lived in while you are away. Leaving a TV on is another way to make the home look as if someone is home. You can even put different lights on staggered timers.

Clean out the Fridge – Before you leave on vacation toss any food in the fridge that will spoil while you are away. Nothing is worse than coming home to refrigerator full of rotten food. Check dates on dairy products too and toss before you leave. Leave an opened box of baking soda for added freshness.

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