Heading off for a winter vacation can be an exciting and much-needed escape from the cold. However, before you embark on your journey, it’s essential to ensure your home is properly prepared to withstand the winter weather. It’s especially important to take the necessary precautions if you plan on leaving your home for a week or more. Depending on your home and where you live, you may want to prepare for risks like cold temperatures, pests, break-ins, and fires.
Whether you’re heading out for the holidays or looking to relax in a warmer climate, you’ll first want to make sure your home is safe from damage and theft. Keep reading to find out how to protect your home when you leave for a winter vacation, including having the right insurance coverage.
Protect Your Home in Cold Temperatures
Taking steps to secure your property before you leave can give you peace of mind and ensure your return to a safe and comfortable home. When you travel during the winter several things can happen if your home is left unattended, especially if you live in a climate with freezing temperatures, as these can lead to frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can burst and cause significant water damage to your property, so you’ll want to take precautions to keep your home protected in cold weather. Here are some steps you can follow to help prevent frozen pipes:
- Insulate pipes: It’s crucial to insulate your interior pipes to help maintain their temperature and prevent them from freezing, since this can cause them to burst and damage the walls in your home.
- Seal leaks: Using heat tape to seal any leaks can help keep pipes protected as temperatures drop.
- Shut off outdoor water lines and store hoses: Before you leave for your winter vacation, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve unhooked your hoses and brought them inside for the winter. You’ll also want to shut off and drain outdoor water lines or cover outdoor faucets.
Stay Proactive to Prevent Break-Ins
In addition to preparing for the effects of the cold weather, you’ll also want to safeguard your home from potential break-ins and theft while you’re on your winter vacation. The combination of more empty homes because of holiday travel and fewer daylight hours can make your house more vulnerable to burglary during the winter months. Here are a few ways to protect your home against break-ins:
- Strengthen entry points: Check for security weaknesses and address them accordingly. Ensure all doors, windows, and gates are equipped with strong locks and sturdy materials.
- Make your home look occupied: When you travel, consider creating the illusion your home isn’t empty by using timers to turn lights on and off at certain times of the day. Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to collect your mail and packages or have your mail held by the post office, if possible. You should also arrange for someone to shovel your driveway or walkway if it snows while you’re away.
- Take security measures: Investing in a security system or security devices such as burglar alarms, security cameras, and motion sensor lights can deter criminals and protect your home while you’re on vacation.
Keep Pests Out of Your Home
An unattended home is an attractive target for pests seeking warmth, food, and shelter. Here are some ways to protect your home from pests when you travel during the winter:
- Keep your home clean: A clean home is less appealing to pests. Make sure to remove any food debris and clean crumbs from countertops and floors. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher, run the garbage disposal, and empty trash cans before you leave for your vacation.
- Store food properly: Ensure all food items are stored in airtight containers. This can prevent pests like ants and rodents from being attracted to your pantry while you’re away.
- Maintain your yard and garden: Trim bushes and trees away from your home, as pests can use them as a pathway to gain entry. Also, remove any debris or vegetation that could provide hiding places for unwanted visitors.
SelectQuote Can Help Protect Your Home During Your Winter Vacation
The right preparation can ensure you feel confident your home is safe and secure while you’re on vacation. In addition to security systems, home insurance is another crucial way to find peace of mind while you’re traveling. When you’re preparing for an upcoming trip make sure to review your existing insurance coverage to ensure you have enough. If you have any questions, give us a call to learn more about your options.
SelectQuote has licensed agents who will compare several highly rated carriers to help you find the policy that suits your needs, budget, and lifestyle. We can even help you explore bundling options so you have peace of mind that your home and vehicles are protected during your winter vacation and year round.