If your parents were like mine, the first 10 minutes of any road trip began with my parents going through a check list discussion of what they checked, didn't check, turned off or unplugged. Over time, my father would pack the iron and skillet just so it would save time in the check list discussion.
I realize now my parent's lists were barely the tip of the iceberg of potential worries. Extreme weather, burst pipes and fallen trees might cause your home to become inhabitable upon your return and we can't pack the entire house into the trunk. Review your insurance policy to understand what your policy covers and does not cover. Homeowners’ insurance is a reliable form of coverage, but by reviewing your policy, you can prepare better and manage expectations better. Here are some of the top items other than checking if the iron is unplugged to keep an eye on:
Fire, while not common is expensive. Keep an extinguisher in the kitchen, check your smoke alarms and make sure all family members know escape routes. If you have a gas switch leading to your kitchen stove and oven, consider shutting it off before long trips.
Tornadoes, hurricanes and severe windstorms can devastated your home. Prune your trees, purchase reinforced windows, and most importantly always keep an eye on the weather. Tornadoes can hit anytime, anywhere so have an action plan in place.
Water damage not related to weather can happen. Large problems are well know like burst pipes or valve failures. However, small problems can become costly as well. Appliances like air-conditioning units and water heaters can build up condensation that overflow. Washing machines can flood out and bath tubs can collect water and mold through holes in the caulking. Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks and dishwashers annually, and have them repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, install water heaters, washers and dryers in areas with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.
Theft happens less frequently than other causes of homeowner loss. Protect yourself. Lights, lights, lights! Burglars hate lights. Have motion sensors that turn on and off. Use timers for lighting in the house to give the appearance that someone is home. Reduce hiding spaces in your outdoor areas where people can hide.
Protecting your most valuable assets is our first goal.
Have questions? Send me a email or visit my website: farmersagent.com/mdrayton