Now that the season is here, we want to take full advantage. Run, play, vacation – the time is ours and before we know it, it will be gone. But don’t rush out just yet! If you’re going away for a long period of time, there are a few things that must be done so your house can withstand the heat (and the rain) without sustaining damage. Be prudent before you get going and it could save you countless dollars and hours in fixing things upon your return.
There are some things you can’t avoid while you’re away (the grass getting long, the plants going un-watered), but properly preparing your yard can help a big hassle when you return. Do your best to clear all of the stubborn fall leaves from the grass. Acting as a canopy from sunlight, they can hinder growth and even kill the grass beneath them, if left stationary for long periods of time. Combine this with an untimely drought, and you could return to a field of brown, patchy crabgrass. To solve two problems at once, a leaf mulcher would help dispose of the debris, while creating nurturing mulch in the process. By using the mulch (and setting up a regular sprinkler system), you could return home to a garden that is significantly more lush than when you left.
For those of us fortunate to have them on our property, the risk of a tree falling is always at the back of our mind. Violent summer storms can be disastrous for dead or diseased trees and we often don’t know it until it’s too late. Keep a careful eye on your foliage. If the tree is exhibiting any signs of weakness, it may be time to take proactive steps to avoid a home disaster. All it takes is one gust of wind, during one summer storm – and suddenly you’ve got a hole in the roof, house flooding and no one around to perform damage control. Before you go away on your long outing, make sure it’s not time to cut, trim or remove any potential wind hazards threatening your home.
Chances are, if you are venturing out for over a week, you will need someone to come by and keep an eye on your home. Asking this person to take care of your mail is just as important as asking them to water your thirsty tomato plants. From surprise bills to surprise winnings, your mail could contain many time-sensitive things that simply can’t wait until you return. Have a trusted friend or neighbor collect your daily dose and check in every so often in case there is something important. It may even behoove you to enlist a mail forwarding service to ensure any incoming packages are safely received by a friend or family member.
Locked and (un)Loaded
Finally, the no-brainer. Lock your home. Don’t leave the stove on. Hide your valuables and only give your house key to someone you completely trust. Burglars will often “case” a home and wait until the owners have gone on vacation to slip in undetected and have free reign of your belongings. So be careful and err on the side of protecting yourself. Whether it’s your family heirloom necklace or your new leaf mulcher, everything has a value and you won’t want any rude awakenings upon your return from a long, enjoyable summer vacation.
Tony is an avid home improvement do-it-yoursefler and likes ot share tips with readers on various home projects.