The damage done to vacant homes can range from minimal surface damage to extremely expensive vandalism that requires a lot of time to repair. There are some types of damage that, if you leave a vacant property unsecured, you can practically expect to happen in this day and age.
Copper wire theft, for example, is a very common occurrence in vacant properties. Copper can be resold at a high price, so people looking to make a quick dollar off of a building’s vulnerability can rip open a wall, take the wiring, and be gone relatively quickly. This leaves the owner of the property with hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of damage to repair, depending on how much was stolen.
Other common damage done by vandals includes breaking water pipes, starting fires, and breaking windows. None of these are things you want happening to your property, so it’s important to protect it as best as you can in order to prevent having to do costly repairs down the road.
Common Signs a Property is Vacant
People are less likely to break into and vandalize a home that they think someone is living in. At the very least, property owners should either make vacant homes look lived in or take steps to block off entry points so that the interior of the home is safe.
Some common signs that a property is vacant, and thus more likely to be targeted for theft, break-ins, or vandalism, include:
- Unkempt lawns and landscaping
- Broken windows
- Plywood window guards
- Peeling paint
- No one going in or out of the home for long periods of time
- No lights on in the evening
- No furniture or belongings in the home
When these signs of vacancy are present, a property is more likely to be seen as an easy target either for squatting or vandalism. Make sure that if you own a property but are not living in it, you take the appropriate steps to make the home less obviously vacant or vulnerable—keep some furniture in the place and consider setting up a timer so it appears that lights are on and someone is home, or install a door guard system and window security covers to completely block and prevent the possibility for someone to gain entry. With heavy duty window guards in place, for example, you can prevent vandals from entering or even seeing inside your property.