You Must Protect This House

That’s what a certain clothing line tells us (they’re not providing me with royalties so I won’t mention them here, although it rhymes with “Wonder Charmer“.  I’m just saying).

It’s spring break here at Virginia Tech, and Radford University will go to break soon as well.  Lots of places will be left empty while the students are gone – here’s a good reminder if you own an investment property, or if you’re just leaving town for a while, on steps you can take to protect your house.

Thanks to Eric Johnsen and State Farm for providing them.

  • Have newspaper and mail stopped or regularly picked up by a trusted neighbor
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your home. Make sure a neighbor knows where the water main shut-off is located in the event of a broken pipe
  • Set timers on interior lights to deter burglars
  • Unplug TV, computer and appliances susceptible to lightning and power surges
  • Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended vacation
  • Take jewelry and valuable papers to a safe deposit box
  • Turn off water valves to your washing machine, icemaker and dishwasher

If it’s still cold where you are, make sure to:

  • Set the heat in your home to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Allow water to drip from a faucet near an outside wall
  • Keep downspouts and Gutter Covers clean to prevent ice dams on your roof
  • Disconnect all garden hosesLocate and insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing.  Typically those near outer walls, in crawl spaces and in the attic are most vulnerable
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach uninsulated pipes under sinks and where appliances are near exterior walls
  • Shut off and drain the water system in your home (except indoor sprinkler systems) before an extended vacation

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