In general, we tend to live from day to day in the properties we pay for. That’s probably not news to you. But there are many reasons as to why you might leave that property for some time, leaving it vacant for months on end. Perhaps you need to travel for work, or you have a main or second property, or perhaps you’re just living elsewhere for a time. There’s no need to justify your reasoning here. Let's talk about How to protect your Home While you are Away.
However, it is important to make sure the house is properly cared for as you leave, and for you to put the provisions in place so that maintenance can take place while you’re gone. In general, vacant houses can also become targets for squatters, thieves and anyone else with ill intentions, and so it’s good to protect against those people in kind.
But you don’t have to be under threat of break-ins for a property to degrade slightly without your presence. In this post, we’ll discuss how to resolve any problems and more:
How to protect your Home While you are Away
Security Measures Are Essential
When leaving your property for an extended period of time, it's important to take steps to protect it from potential burglars or vandals as discussed anpve. One of the most effective ways to do this is to install a security system, such as a CCTV camera or alarm system. This will deter would-be thieves and alert you or the authorities if anyone does break in, or it will at least make a loud sound for the neighbors. Moreover, a motion-sensitive floodlight system can brightly illuminate anyone looking in your windows or accessing your property, and this tends to discourage them continuing further.
Another important security measure is to make sure all of your doors and windows are locked and secure before you leave. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's surprising how many people forget to do this – especially when leaving in a rush to catch a flight. You should also consider installing window bars or grates to add an extra layer of protection. In some European homes, shutters can look great too.
It's also a good idea to let a trusted neighbor or family member know that you'll be away and ask them to keep an eye on your property. They can check for any signs of suspicious activity and alert the authorities if necessary. If you’re in a neighborhood watch scheme, let them know how long you’re gone for. It’ll make a real difference.
Property Maintenance While You’re Away
Sure, your property isn’t being lived in at this time, which limits the damage that might occur. Yet you’re not the only influence on a household, as weather and the general settling of a structure can also cause issues that need to be rectified – anyone who has fixed a leaky roof knows this to be true. To prevent this, it's important to take steps to maintain your property and protect your home while you're away.
One of the most important things you can do is to turn off the water supply to your property. This will prevent any leaks from causing damage while you're away. You should also drain the water from your pipes to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Check out this guide to how to maintain pipes during winter for the best results.
It's also a good idea to unplug any electrical appliances and turn off the power to your property. This will prevent any damage from power surges or brownouts if they occur. It also gives you peace of mind. You can shut down the electrical supply from your fuse box.
Another important step is to make sure your property is clean and tidy before you leave. This will make it less likely to attract pests and vermin, and will also make it easier for you to spot any damage when you return. Traps and poisons can kill any creepy crawlies that might think about occupying your home without paying rent, which they are usually rude enough to do.
Remotely Checking In
While it's important to take steps to protect your home while you're away, it's also important to check in on it regularly to make sure everything is okay. This can be done remotely, by installing a CCTV camera or other remote monitoring system, or by arranging for a trusted neighbor or family member to check on it for you.
You should also make sure to contact your insurance company before you leave to let them know that your property will be unoccupied for an extended period of time. This will ensure that you're covered in case of any damage or loss while you're away. We’d also recommend that you ask your neighbors to make full use of your driveway, this way you can make the house look occupied when you’re far off. Thieves tend to feel discouraged when a home has different cars parked in the driveway on a rotating daily basis.
With smart camera installations and smart home appliances, this can be very useful. Just be mindful of which rooms you’ve turned off power for. If you’re going away for a shorter amount of time, you might risk leaving parts of the power on so that you can implement light switches which switch on and off on a timer, making sure that at night the house looks illuminated.
Bonus: Schedule Garden Maintenance
Your garden will become unruly without anyone to manage it, which of course can show that the house is vacant. The last thing you need to deal with is four-foot high weeds and long grass, fighting your way to the front door on your return.
As such, you might pay a local to mow your lawns or trim your hedges once a month or so. You might be amazed by how well this can turn out and how you’ll return to a property that looks good as new for the effort.
With this advice, you’re sure to keep your property in good condition and protect your home even after you leave for some time.
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