Home Monitoring While on VacationThere are a number of basic things you can do and should do prior to going on vacation. This will help to ensure that your home is well looked after and no damage occurs to your home while you are away. Home monitoring while on vacation can save you money. So how does this fall under the general mandate of saving money? Well if you are going to be away, you will want to make sure that your home is looked after with the least cost. You also want to make sure so that your home insurance does not become null and void.

There is much more to it that just having your neighbor look in on your home once and a while. We will discuss a few of the requirements. Also how you can make sure that your cost is minimized, while keeping your home covered and safe.

Why Home Monitoring While on Vacation is Important

Insurance Requirements for Vacant Homes

Many people do not realize it , but their insurance companies have a number of requirements about how homes should be looked after while you are away from home. Most companies require that the water be turned off to avoid any possibility of damage from running water if water pipes are broken somehow and start leaking.

This is particularly important in cold climates were the water could freeze in the water pipes could freeze if the heat is shut off for some reason.

Most home insurance companies will specify time frames for homes to be checked to confirm that security has not been compromised, that the heat is still on and that the water pipes have not frozen. Some will request that they are checked every 48 hours if the water is left on, while others are ok with an entire week if the water is turned off.

Check with your home insurance companies requirements and get it in writing so that you fully understand what is required if you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time.

Make Your Home Look Lived In

The old cliché is that a house that is vacant is an invitation for someone to break in, or something like that. The whole point of this is to re-enforce that you need to make your home looked lived in. Keep the grass cut the weeds pulled, the leaved picked up etc. If you live in a cold climate and plan to be away during the winter, have someone keep the snow cleared, the walk shoveled and advertisements picked up.

Place timers in rooms that you typically occupy and have the lights come on at regular times. Have someone check the timers regularly in case the power has gone off to make sure that they turn on the lights at regular hours. Even having a neighbor place garbage our on garbage day is a good idea.

Who Should You Ask to Check On Your Home

This is a really tough question to answer, since it really depends on your situation. If you have good friends, neighbors or family that you can depend on. Have them check on your home on a schedule and keep a record. Then you probably want to go that direction.

If you plan to be away for many months, having friends etc check on your home can get to be a bit onerous. They may not want to make that commitment. Perhaps they will also want to go away as well during that time frame.

Another approach is to hire a company to check on your home on an agreed to schedule. They should keep a record and notify you if there are any problems. If you do go this route, there are a number of safeguards that you want to consider here as well. Make sure you have a contract. Make sure that it is clearly spelled out what this company is supposed to do for you. Check security, check the heating system, water plants, take in the mail, maintain landscaping. Also arrange for snow removal, check the lights, respond to alarm system alerts etc.

Summary

A quick summary of what you need to consider when leaving your home for an extended period of time:

  • Check with your home insurance company regarding requirements
  • Turn the water off before you leave
  • Ask your home sitter to run the water every two weeks to fill toilets and water traps
  • Establish a schedule for checks in accordance with insurance requirements
  • Ask home sitter to maintain a written record of checks
  • Make your house looked lived in e.g. snow clearing, lawn maintenance, lights
  • Have a contract with a professional home sitter
  • Make it clear exactly what you need to be done and make it part of your contract.
  • Stay in touch with your home sitter and ask the neighbors to also keep an eye on things.

Enjoy your vacation and save money. Avoid having any damage or break-ins while you are away on your extended vacation.

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