Owning a vacation property can be a dream, but how do you protect that investment from potential risks? Vacation homes are often only used for part of the year, which makes them particularly susceptible to damage. This is especially true if your vacation home is located in a high-risk area, like beaches and forests, or if you rent it out to guests when you're not there.
Wondering how you can keep your vacation property safe? Here are 5 great tips:
#1: Keep Tabs on Your Doors & Windows
It’s a fact: more and more Americans are renting out their vacation properties when they aren’t using it.
According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 25 percent of vacation homeowners in the United States rented their property in 2017 – and that number has only grown!
It makes a lot of sense, of course. Depending on how often you do it, the revenue you collect from renting out your vacation home can pay your mortgage costs, bills, and you may just find yourself turning a small profit.
But it also comes with risks – especially if your renters don’t treat your vacation home with as much love and care as you do.
Because of this, some property owners choose to install surveillance devices (like cameras and noise monitoring systems) in their vacation homes. A much less invasive (and equally effective) option is to install Notion sensors on your external doors and windows.
When you do this, you’ll be notified immediately when a door or window has been opened or closed. This can help you keep track of when your guests have checked in and out, if a window was left open by accident, and more.
Keep in mind that if you do plan to install Notion sensors on your vacation property, it’s strongly recommended to let your guests know beforehand.
#2: Avoid or React Quickly to Water Leaks
The very worst time for water damage to occur is when you’re away from your vacation home, as it could take weeks (or even months!) to discover.
And as you might know, when it comes to water damage, the quicker you catch it, the more likely you are to mitigate any long-term damage.
Depending on the severity of the water damage (and how long it goes unnoticed), you may have to buy new furniture, flooring, or you may have to renovate the entire home!
With water damage costing upwards of $7500 when it’s caught immediately, this could make a serious dent in your bank account.
Whether you own a beachfront property that’s at risk of hurricanes and tropical storms, or a winter home that’s susceptible to frozen and burst pipes, installing Notion sensors in your vacation home is one of the best ways to catch water damage before it gets out of hand.
This is especially important if your vacation home is located in a region that’s prone to flooding – like coastal homes in Florida, New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina, and Massachusetts.
It’s also a good idea to have a water leak detection system if you rent out your vacation home to guests.
In this case, we recommend installing Notion smart water leak sensors in areas where accidents are most likely to occur – like behind toilets, sinks, bathtubs, water heaters, AC units, and other appliances.
As soon as a leak is detected, you’ll receive an alert to your phone so you can quickly take the necessary actions.
Whether you use your vacation home for most of the year or just a few days, having a water detection system in place can be extremely beneficial in keeping your property safe.
#3: Help Protect Your Vacation Home From Fires
Every year, hundreds of vacation homes, cottages, and cabins are damaged by fire.
In many of these cases, the properties could have been saved if the homeowner had taken a few simple precautions.
Your first line of defense in a house fire is, of course, a working smoke alarm. But what if you aren’t there to hear it? Who’s going to call the fire department before your vacation home is damaged?
As soon as our wireless sensors detect your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector is going off, we’ll send an alert to your smartphone so you can take action.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your property is up to date with your region’s requirements and laws about fire safety.
The Red Cross guidelines are a great place to start. In addition to having an active smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, the Red Cross recommends:
- Installing a fire alarm outside every sleeping area and/or in the bedrooms.
- Alarms should be wired together so that if one sounds, they all sound.
- Test once a month, and replace the batteries every six months.
- Consider installing flashing alarms for those that are hearing impaired.
If you’re interested in more tips on how to practice fire safety within the home, check our guide on how to prevent house fires.
#4: Keep Tabs on Your Home’s Internal Temperature
With temperatures fluctuating throughout the year, it’s important to keep tabs on your vacation home’s internal temperature.
It’s a little simpler if your vacation home is somewhere warm.
But if it’s located in a colder climate, like Colorado or Upstate New York, you’ll need to take a few more steps to prepare your property for changes in temperature.
You should get your furnace professionally serviced on a yearly basis, install a programmable thermostat, and check on your insulation, especially in attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
If you really want to help keep your vacation home protected, you should also consider installing Notion sensors around the home.
When your room temperature monitoring sensor detects a change in temperature, Notion will send you an alert that the room has become too hot or too cold.
As we mentioned above, taking this kind of precaution is especially important during the winter months in colder climates as this is when the highest number of water damage claims are made.
During the winter months, your pipes are more likely to freeze, which can lead to bursting pipes and costly water damage.
If you’re ever in this situation (or want to be prepared in case it happens), you should check out our guide on what to do if your pipes freeze.
Taking the proper precautions when it comes to protecting your vacation home can save you a lot of money and grief – and it’s really easy to do with Notion!