Preparing Your Home For Vacation

Preparing Your Home For Vacation

By Preparing Your Home For Vacation, You Can Relax On Your Trip

Regardless of whether you’re leaving town for a long weekend or for the season, you’ll enjoy your vacation more knowing that you’ve prepared your house for your time away. It helps to begin your preparations a few weeks in advance and to use a checklist to make certain that nothing gets missed. We’ve created preliminary checklists with tips on preparing your home for vacation. Take these steps to get ready for both your departure and your return so that you can make the most of your vacation and return home stress-free!

Getting Ready to Take Off

  • Plan for your pets. Make arrangements with a pet sitter or a boarding facility, and give them instructions for how to care for your pet, food, treats, favorite toys, and any medication your pet may need.
  • Clean out your refrigerator. If food is expired, or if it will expire while you’re gone, toss it. Clean up any fresh spills while you’re at it.
  • Take care of your laundry. Do a few loads and put away whatever you’re not packing.
  • Don’t let your plants die. Ask a neighbor or a friend to water your plants, and give them a tour of where all your plants are. Leave them with detailed watering instructions.
  • Turn on a few lights. This will make it seem like someone is still at home. If you’re going on a longer trip—or if you want to play it extra-safe—invest in automatic timers that will turn your lights off and on at the times of your choosing. You should also let your neighbors know that you’ll be away so that they can be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.
  • Unplug and fine tune. You should adjust your A/C or heat in order to conserve energy while your home is unoccupied. Unplug any appliances that won’t be used before you leave as well.
  • Call your post office and your newspaper carrier. Have them put a temporary hold on your services so that you don’t come home to a mountain of mail and newspapers by your front door.

Prepare For Your Return

  • Part of preparing your home for vacation is thinking ahead to what you’ll need after you return. Have your first meal planned already. Make sure you’ve stocked the freezer and the pantry with the key ingredients for an easy non-perishable meal so that you won’t need to go grocery shopping after a long day of traveling. Or if you’d rather order takeout, that’s a great option as well!
  • Change your sheets right before you leave. This will make for a comfortable first night back in your own bed.
  • Clean up your house. Sweep, Swiffer, or vacuum. Run the dishwasher and put away all of the dishes. Quickly wipe down countertops with all-purpose cleansing wipes. You’ll be much happier returning to a clean home! Trust us, after you return you will be glad you spent a little time preparing your home for vacation.

American Home Inspection Services offers a Home Watch Service to Southeastern Michigan families so that you can have peace of mind and enjoy your vacation. Contact us today to discuss your needs!

Cleaning Gutters Made Simple

Cleaning Gutters Made Simple

When the rain starts to pour, you want to know your roof’s gutters are in good shape and free of debris, especially in Autumn when leaves accumulate quickly. This time of year, it is nearly impossible to keep falling leaves out of your gutters, so it’s important to make sure they’re clear at the beginning of the season. Clogged gutters can result in a massive overflow of water spilling over and causing damage to the sides of your house, your foundation, and that garden you’ve put so much work into. Luckily, you only need to take a few steps towards cleaning gutters and, as a result, maintain your home and yard. Or you could always get a robot to do the dirty work for you.

Get Ready to Clean out the Goop

Put on a long-sleeved shirt and rubber gloves and get out the extendable ladder – it’s time for cleaning gutters! You may also want to wear a bandana or hat to help divert sweat from your eyes so that you’re not wiping your face with messy hands. Have a hose with a sprayer and a forked garden claw or trowel close-by—the latter will fit nicely into a belt loop so you don’t have to worry about holding a pointy pronged tool while climbing up and down a ladder. It’s a good idea to have a friend with you as well; he or she can hand you whatever you need and help with steadying the ladder and refilling cold beverages!

Grab the Ladder and Start Cleaning Gutters

Put your ladder at the end of your gutter and climb up until you’ve just about reached the top while your friend keeps you and the ladder stabilized. You’ll need to get high enough above your gutters to be able to look down and see into them clearly. If your gutters are older or if they show signs of having been weakened, place a piece of a 2x4 inside to help them bear your weight.

Pull out the goop and leaves with the garden claw or by hand. Instead of trying to fit all of the debris into a bag, lay a tarp out on your lawn first where you can toss the debris as you’re cleaning.

Cleaning Gutters and the Roof at Once

Use the hose to clean out the downspout. This would be a good time to rinse off your roof as well; not only will you be cleaning it off, you’ll be able to make sure that the excess water is flowing into your gutter and into the downspout as it should be. If the water isn’t moving properly, you’ve got more cleaning to do—or else you need to check the downspout for clogs, blockages, and signs of damage.

Tackle the next section of your gutter following the same directions until you’ve reached the downspout at the other end. If the water flows well, then you’re through with the job, at least until next time. Cleaning gutters is best done during Spring and Fall to help guard against the possibilities of improper drainage, overflow, and flooding.

 

Buying or selling a home or commercial building in Southeastern Michigan? American Home Inspection Services offers professional inspection services that will give you a clear and accurate assessment of the property’s condition. Click here to request your inspection today!