Weekend House WatchersMost people do not worry too much about their homes when they go away for the weekend. What about for the week or even for longer periods? They may tell the neighbors and family. However unless there is something unusual going on , no one will check the home while they are away. For the vast majority of people this is fine as long as your home is secure. It also assumes that you have followed some or all of the home security checklists we have discussed in earlier posts. Most homes are never broken into. The furnace works all of the time during the winter and there never is a water leak.

But it just takes that one time for a water line to break and you end up with thousands of dollars in damage. Then what do you do if the insurance company will not pay? Because you did not have anyone checking on the house.

What Steps Should You Take When Leaving a Home Vacant

Consumers should always check with their insurance companies before they leave to make sure that their home is still covered even while you are away from home. Some companies will demand that a person visits every 24 hours especially in the winter time when the furnace is running. Frozen pipes that burst can cause a lot of damage. Other companies are more lenient as long as the water is shut off and will only need someone to check on the home once a week. They are all different in their requirements so call them to find out what you need to do to make sure you are covered for all damages while you are away.

There are one or two exceptions that we can think of when you may want to make arrangements for someone to check on the house and / or visit your home while you are away even if it is just for the weekend.

Weekend House Watchers – What to Do With Pets

The first issue would be if you have pets. Cats can usually look after themselves for the weekend, especially if you put out extra cat food and water. Cats are known for not over eating. They can survive quite well on their own for several days with no problem. If you have an older cat that needs medicine other arrangements are needed. Then you may want to make arrangements for someone to visit and provide what ever is needed.

Dogs on the other hand need almost constant attention. They need to be walked and fed and given a chance to empty their bowels etc, otherwise you are probably looking at a huge mess when you get home, not to mention a very hungry dog. They will tend to eat everything in front of them at one time. Weekend house sitters and dog walkers can help most people in this situation by taking your dog for a walk several times a day as needed.

Snow Clearing

People in northern climates may also need to have snow cleared in the winter time. People with pools may have to have someone look after their pool in the summer time. Most neighbors will gladly do this for you for a free swim in the pool. Or a return favor some time. All of these activities will make the home looked lived in and as if someone is home.

Even with a weekend house sitter or a neighbor looking after your home, you should still have lights on timers. So that there is no perceived change in schedule. If you use electric timers for lights while you are away, it will be hard to tell if you are home or not. Weekend house watchers can also water plants, check for water leaks and make sure that the heat is on. They can collect any newspapers that might be laying on the front step.

Why take the chance and leave your home unchecked. After all your insurance could end up being invalid. Or a claim rejected all because you were going to save a few dollars. Your home and your contents are worth far more than what you would pay for someone to house sit your home. Or to check your home on a schedule that you have set up that satisfies the insurance company.

If you have thoughts on this subject or wish to leave a comment, please do so.