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  • Top 3 Disasters That May Happen To Your Home While You’re On Vacation

    [caption id="attachment_6311" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Prevent Those Burglars"]Robbed[/caption]

    We don't want to think about the disasters that could happen to your home while you're on vacation, but some of these are very important to keep in mind. Take a look at these top 3 scenarios that may happen while you're out of the house for long periods of time.

    Thieves Take All Your Stuff

    Unmowed grass, piles of newspapers, and revealing posts on Facebook might as well be an open invitation to burglars, says Ralph Sevinor, President of Wayne Alarm Systems in Lynn, Massachusetts. Sevinor suggests putting a hold on the mail, asking a neighbor to park in the drive, testing your alarm system, and keeping your travel plans off the Internet. "Even if it's your kid on Facebook telling her 2,300 friends about the family trip to Hawaii, you have to watch out. That message can get picked up by criminals who troll the Internet constantly," says Sevinor.

    The Attic Fills With Critters—Dead and Alive

    All it takes is one small entry point and wasps, bees, squirrels, or bats can take over this seldom-visited space. Then they build nests, chew through wiring or framing, or just make your home their final resting place. "Animals can get trapped and then die. After a few days, the stench can render a house uninhabitable," says Los Angeles–based architect Leigh Jerrard. "Make sure crawlspace and eave vents are securely screened with hardware cloth or welded-wire fabric," says Jerrard.

    Your Lawn Dies

    Extreme weather can kill your lawn, or leave it vulnerable to insects and blight, if you aren't there to catch warning signs. Billie Lee, a Walker County master gardener in Huntsville, Texas, says that drought conditions can fry the grass, while excessive rain encourages disease. "My neighbors lost their lawn to a fungus called Take-all patch. They came home from a vacation and had to uproot the whole yard and start over." TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook recommends asking a neighbor to watch out for wilt or brown spots in the lawn and leaving behind the number for your lawn service. "All you can do is depend on your good neighbor, and promise to do the same for him when he goes away," says Roger. "It's a fair trade."

    Read more at This Old House

    Filed under: Common Household Repairs, Home Mechanic Tips, Security: Home and Community
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