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Preparing Your Home for Long-Term Travel

Are you planning an extended vacation or business trip? If your travels are going to take you out of town for weeks to months at a time, it's crucial to make sure your house is properly prepared for your long absence. Here are some guidelines to ensure that your home is protected against plumbing issues, appliance malfunctions and more while you are away.

Set Your Thermostat


If your long-term travel is planned for next winter, you'll need to make sure that your thermostat is set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep the house warm enough to prevent freezing and bursting water pipes, which can cause water damage and severe flooding. If your trip takes place during warmer weather, it's best to leave the AC unit running in order to prevent mold, mildew, and other conditions caused by heat and humidity. Set your thermostat to 85 degrees or less to control usage of the air conditioning. If possible, consider purchasing a smart thermostat, which can be remotely controlled via a handy smartphone app no matter where you are. This is an easy, convenient way to make sure your home is always protected from weather-related plumbing and HVAC issues, no matter where you are!


Turn Water Off


Boulder's Flatirons Plumbing has a tip that that could greatly simplify your travel life: When you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, make it a point to turn off your main water line before you leave. This can prevent plumbing leaks from occurring unnoticed in your absence, which can result in significant water damage and costly repairs. After shutting off the main water valve, let your bathroom and kitchen faucets run dry to ensure that no water is left in the pipes.


There are exceptions, however: if your sprinkler system needs to run while you are away, or if your heating system operates with steam radiators or hot water, you shouldn't shut your water off at the main valve. Anyone who doesn't have these special considerations should turn it off to avoid having to deal with unforeseen plumbing problems upon your return. By shutting off the water before you leave, you are potentially saving yourself a major headache when you get home!


Wrap Toilet Bowls With Plastic Wrap


It may sound like a silly April Fool's Day prank, but it's actually super important! Wrap your toilet bowls with plastic cling wrap to prevent smelly sewer fumes from wafting into your home. Leaving your toilets unwrapped can result in a malodorous "welcome home" surprise when you walk in the door. Just make sure to mark the cling wrap with a big black "X" or other warning symbol to prevent anyone from accidentally using the toilet with the wrap in place!


Empty the Fridge


Apart from the main reason of not wanting food in your refrigerator to turn into a rotten, moldy, science experiment while you're out of town, it's also important to remove all perishables from the fridge so you can completely defrost and unplug it while you're on your travels. This will conserve energy since the fridge won't need to keep running when it's not in use.


Setting off on long-term travel can be an exciting and rewarding adventure, full of amazing experiences and lifelong memories with family, friends, or even just yourself! Be sure to follow these tips for safeguarding your home while you're on your trip so you can be free to concentrate on having fun! Get set to broaden your horizons and enjoy your journey without having to worry about what will be waiting for you when you get back.

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