Leaving your home empty during a summer holiday, a move to another house, or a quick business trip might not seem like a cause for concern. However, there are multiple things that nobody, including you, can predict.
Whether we’re talking about natural disasters that can occur with little to no warning, or criminal activity, it pays to be prepared. Many terrible things can ruin your time away and, as they say, failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a short collection of tips on how to protect your vacant home – no matter what.
Purchase Bright Outdoor Lights
During nighttime, your house is even less protected than during other hours of the day. Because of this, it’s essential to equip your home with bright and statement-making lights that can deter intruders from entering – particularly when selling the house or during the moving process.
If you’re also the proud owner of a shed or garage, install lights there too. You also have the option of using a timer to fool others into thinking that someone is present at the property and that the house is well-protected.
Should security be of high importance to you (i.e., due to constant work trips or other commitments), you might even go one step further and install exterior video camera, on top of your indoor security system. This one should overlook your garden or patio.
Check Plumbing Before Heading Out
According to home damage reports, water intrusion is one of the most expensive forms of damage. For added peace of mind, check that the plumbing is drained long before leaving the house, particularly if the weather is prone to change – during the autumn season, for example.
Also, should the cold weather be on its way, ensure that heating is present in order to avoid pipes bursting or other similar issues.
Trust in a “Vacant Property” Insurance
Throughout the United States, there are hundreds of firms which assure that you are able to take out vacant structure insurance for your home.
Of course, there are immense advantages for policyholders, including the ability to cover more than one house, provided that it’s within the same state and holding the same occupancy coverage.
Another benefit is having extensive coverage limits, enough for even high-end properties. In fact, coverage often includes protection against theft, vandalism, fire and even wind.
You also have the ability to change to a landlord or rental dwelling policy, should the property’s occupancy change unexpectedly.
Invest in an Efficient Alarm System
While certain neighborhoods are reminiscent of a scene from Big Brother thanks to the dozens of cameras, in some states and parts of the country, people are not big on security systems.
However, what few realize is that an alarm system will not only save you a pretty buck on your insurance policy, but it will also give you greater peace of mind when out and about.
Featuring continued monitoring services at all hours of the night or day, efficient alarm systems can detect fires, possible burglary attempts and other potential disasters.
To get an even better idea of how to prepare, alert the insurance company of your absence from home, regardless if it’s one day, five, or more. This way, you are giving them the heads-up about keeping an extra, careful eye on your property.
If you’re unsure about which type of system to opt for, the best advice is going for surveillance, monitoring services and fire alarm packages. By doing this, you’ll also benefit from continuous notifications about activity around your home.
Prepare for the Worst
While some things can be out of your control, changing locks and closing blinds is far from it. It might seem that these finer tasks won’t do much to help your situation, but you’d be surprised. For instance, using stronger locks on all exterior doors can prevent easy break-ins.
Plus, changing the position of your blinds can also help protect your home. You are able to ensure that light does get in and give the appearance of lamps being turned on, mimicking the idea that someone is home.
Besides that, blinds can also guarantee that wind damage won’t be as harsh on your home.
Inform a Trusted Neighbor
Building a good relationship with at least one of your neighbors is yet another smart way of ensuring that while you’re moving or on holiday, you will have a guardian angel that can keep an eye out on things for you.
Not only is it great to have a local person who can check up on your house, but this will also give uninvited guests the idea that your property is not, in fact, vacant.
Of course, this rouse might be viewed as a less-than-ideal way to secure the property, but you can always combine this piece of advice with all the other information offered above.
However, if you don’t know anyone in the area that can help you in your time of need, some companies will complete such check-ins for you.
The only downside:
There is a small fee to pay, but comfort does always come at a price.
The Power of Regular Maintenance
When it comes to the maintenance of your home, you have two choices: either you perform it yourself or hire a professional service.
Someone’s presence around the property will deter criminal activity and it will also help spot some delicate details you might not always notice (i.e., checking for faulty detection services, pipe leaks, or even damage to windows and doors from the weather).
To sum it up, there are multiple things that you are able to do to protect your home while it’s vacant and these are just some choices. Whether you’re moving, going on holiday, or traveling for business, these seven ways will help you relax and give you peace of mind.