July 15, 2016

Home Maintenance Tips: Take care of your home while away on vacation.

Filed under: Home Maintenance — Chuck @ 11:01 am

Home maintenance is relatively easy if you stay on top it and do it at regular intervals, but it becomes a bit more difficult to do if you are not anywhere near your home. That’s the situation for many homeowners in July, because they are traveling out of town for family vacations. That calls for unique home maintenance strategies, and these same approaches can be used throughout the year anytime you need to be out of town and cannot be physically present to take care of your property.

An App for That
App developers have been working overtime to raise the IQ of our mobile phones from smart to smarter. There are many examples of apps that are a great solution for homeowners who aren’t always home. To give you an idea of their capability, here is an overview of one of the most popular, named Canary. Rather than categorizing it as an app, it is more accurate to describe Canary as a full-featured home security and monitoring device or system that is also conveniently app-connected. The Canary replaces bulky home security systems with a small, inexpensive device that monitors motion, temperature, sound, and even air quality within your home, and you can view it from your phone.

How it Works
While you’re away you can watch live streams of your home, or recorded HD videos, and you can archive them if you want. Canary monitors such things as movement inside your home when you aren’t there, and if the system identifies something out of the ordinary, you’ll get a notification with recorded HD video of the event, as well as the option to watch it live. It is not a security system, per se, and no home security company or police are going to be notified by the app. That can be a good thing, because you can review your instant alerts on your app and then if it is a false alarm you didn’t trigger a response that is going to cost you money or embarrassment.

But if there is a problem there is the ability built into the app to respond to incidents directly from the Canary app. You can trigger a 90 decibel siren, or be connected directly to your home’s local emergency responders. Canary changes modes as you come and go, too, so you never have to remember a key code or set and reset or disarm anything. If you are home, you set notification preferences. When you are leaving for vacation, you set the system to monitor activity and send notifications.

Old Fashioned Strategies Are Still Relevant
As always, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or neighbor who can be your eyes and ears while you are away. They can notify you of any problems that come up, and they can make sure that routine tasks like trash collection or mail delivery are monitored. That has a twofold purpose. On the one hand it ensures that everything runs smoothly in your absence, and it also gives your home the appearance of being occupied, which is a strong deterrent to thieves. If the person watching your house can turn the lights on at night and off in the morning that helps create the illusion that you are home, and if a vehicle can be parked at your house and then moved from time to time, that is also a good idea.

Don’t Forget the Yard
Homeowners often focus so much on taking care of pets and having someone check on the inside of their home while they are gone that they forget exterior maintenance. Even if you are only gone for several days, if a heat wave arrives it can scorch your gardens, flower beds, and lawn. So make sure that you either set up watering systems on a timer or have someone like a lawn maintenance professional keep an eye on those valuable features of your home.

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