The warmth of summer is quickly approaching, and with it are promises of beach-filled days, mountain getaways, and trips to the Grand Canyon; but before packing up the family and hitting the open road, here are a few preventative measures you might want to consider taking around the home to avoid water damage:
Prepping for Vacation? Five Quick Tips for Your Home while You're Away
1. Turn off the main water supply.
If no one is home to deal with it, a major leak could be catastrophic - especially depending on where the hot water tank is located. Often times, these hot water tanks are put in attics to avoid taking up floor space in living areas; but if that water tank leaks, you'd better catch it quick because it doesn't take long for water to destroy cabinets, flooring, and appliances.
Closing the valve on the main supply line will cut off water to the house while still allowing outside sprinklers to work. If you do spring a leak inside, the line will be under some initial pressure, but it will not continue to spray water. By turning off the main water supply, you may have 50 gallons from the hot water heater instead of thousands of gallons of water - so while turning off the main water supply may take a little time, it can save thousands and thousands of dollars in damages.
2. Check the sump pump.
Rainwater can be a nightmare. If your sump pump fails while you're gone and a major storm hits, you could return to a flooded basement. Be sure to check that your sump pump is working properly before you hitting the road. For further reading on testing sump pumps, check out this article: How to Test a Basement Sump Pump.
3. Turn up the thermostat. (But don't turn off the air conditioning unit.)
Programmable thermostats are ideal - you can turn the temperature to 80 degrees upon departure, and plan to turn it down to 72 degrees before you return. If you have a manual thermostat, it still is worth turning the temperature up to avoid wasting energy.
Do not turn off the air conditioner or furnace during your vacation. You want to keep the air in your home circulating so it does not condensate (condensation leads to mold)
4. Check up on your insurance.
Knowing what your home insurance policy covers could save you both time and money if something does happen while you're away. Check out one of our other posts for tips on this topic: Reassessing your Homeowners Insurance Policy Coverage.
5. Turn off or unplug appliances.
There is no sense in paying to power-up unused electronics and appliances. Shut down all computers. Unplug televisions and other electronic devices. Make sure the coffee pot and toaster oven are turned off and unplugged.