It’s hazy, hot, and humid here in the DC Metro area! Are you thinking of leaving the area for a cool get away even if it is just a 3 or 4 day weekend? Is your home ready for you to leave? Don’t forget to think about what needs to get done around the house before you leave town.
- Are your exterior lights functioning properly? If the bulbs have burnt out, be sure to change them before you leave home. I recommended using LED light bulbs. The market also has LED light fixtures with a camera and motion sensor. These fixtures can see who is in the area near your home and will follow that person until they leave the sensor area.
- Are you leaving any items out in the yard? Is there a ladder laying around that could give someone access to the second story?
- Even though this is not the time of year when you would typically trim your plants, be sure your home is clearly visible. Your neighbors will have a view of the property while you are away and you avoid giving someone a place to work on a door or window without being seen to gain entry. This also helps with the trim on the home. It will not need to be replaced due to wood rot since you are giving your home some breathing room.
- Have you installed lights with timers around your home? I recommend using these timer lights in different rooms at different times, keeping it close to your own personal schedule. Even have a lamp in the hall come on in the middle of the night! With today’s timers they can turn items on and off up to 20 times a day and can come on/off at different times every day. You can also hook the timer to a radio or TV. Now, if your ‘new school’ you can also control all of these from your smart phone. There is no right or wrong way, just make sure your bulbs are working!
- Lock all windows, even on the second floor.
- Set your mail and paper to not be delivered. Nothing says I am not home more than a pile of papers!
- Talk to your neighbors and tell them you will be out of town. Neighbors are one of the best forms of security! I have a great 87 year old lady who stays home on her front porch and asks people what they are doing, and why they are there. It is great to have a good neighbor.
- The last thing to think about is water, a mighty powerful element. There a few thoughts on this: do I leave it on or shut everything down? We can’t determine when a pipe may break, but if you are not around for several days and had an issue, it could cause a lot of problems! A 1-inch PVC pipe allows for a wide range of flow variation. At a low flow velocity of 6 feet per second, water moves through the pipe at 16 gallons per minute, or 960 gallons an hour. Average flow velocity of 12 feet per second passes 37 gallons per minutes, or 2,220 gallongs per hour. The pipe in your home is only 1/2-3/4” the size of the 1 inch but the damage will be the same.
There are a few ways to attack this:
- The washer should be connected and hooked to supply lines that shut off when a break occurs or there is a mat that sits on the floor under the washer that is connected to a solenoid to shut the water off at the source.
- The main shut off valve is the best way to shut off the supply at the source, but there are the yard and sprinkler system to think of. You might want to think of separating the landscaping so it can have its own water supply and separate the home off of the main system.
Remember you have done everything you can so have peace of mind and truly enjoy your time away!
Enjoy each day as it might be your last as we just lost a friend here at Case Design and FRED who was too young.