Follow These Tips From the IHCA to Maintain Standards, Avoid Fines and Protect Your Home While You Are Away on Vacation.
A vacation should be relaxed and worry free. Whether you’re going out of town for a few days or for a few weeks, there are steps that you can take to prepare your home for your absence and for your smooth return.
Here is a quick list of tips that we hope you find helpful:
MAIL & NEWSPAPERS:
Short-term: hold mail and newspapers or ask a friend or neighbor to collect your mail. Long-term: Forward your mail by requesting a temporary mail forwarding.
Trash cans should not be left outside while you are away. If your trip begins on Friday, trash pickup day, please make arrangements
with your neighbor, a family member or house sitter to return your cans to your garage.
YARD AND LAWN CARE:
Most of us have a home surrounded by green grass, shrubs, and trees. An untrimmed lawn can be a sign that you are away from home. Depending on how it looks, it also can be considered a blight.
Short-term: Mow your lawn and trim plants, trees and shrubs shortly before your trip. Long-term: Arrange for a lawn service to take care of your landscaping while you are away. This not only keeps the grounds trimmed, it also brings people to your property on a regular basis helping it to not appear abandoned.
PLUMBING & LEAKS:
Check for water leaks before you leave. Feel the valves underneath faucets to make sure they aren’t moist and turn off the main water supply to the house just before you go.
BATTERIES, ELECTRONICS & LIGHTS:
The upcoming warmer weather, hopefully not as warm at last summer, is hard on batteries. Remove batteries from clocks, remotes, etc. for longer trips. However, some thermostats require batteries, which should be replaced before heading out.
Electrical service should be left on to operate your alarm system, air-conditioning (heat in cooler weather), dehumidifier and fans, but you can turn off the breakers to the range, oven and microwave. Unplug TV sets, recorders and other nonessentials, including the garage-door opener, then secure the garage door from the inside.
Consider leaving several lights on timers or use smart home products to control lights from your phone.
REQUEST A VACATION HOUSE CHECK FROM ISSAQUAH POLICE DEPARTMENT:
For added security, Issaquah residents can ask the Issaquah Police Department to perform periodic house checks as time allows in their schedule. Submit your request for this service online or call 425-837-3200 if you do not have a computer.
In addition to the above tips, the IHCA maintains the Community Wide Standards that were created for the enjoyment and benefit of the entire community. These standards should be kept up regardless of any absence away from home. Part of community living involves following the maintenance standards and guidelines, which ensure that neighborhoods remain clean, well-maintained, and aesthetically pleasing to residents, while enhancing property values. The Community Wide Standards can be found online.
Here’s a detailed checklist to look through before heading out of town!
Madison Ramirez is the IHCA community manager.