How To Prevent Water Damage on Vacation
Wondering how to prevent water damage while on vacation? You're not alone. Water damage is the 2nd most common home insurance claim and can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in a short amount of time. A sad fact of life is that if your home is going to suffer from a sudden onslaught of water, it's going to happen while you're on vacation. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can help prevent or quickly mitigate any such onslaughts.
HOW TO PREVENT WATER DAMAGE WHILE ON VACATION - GET SOME HELP
Your neighbor is your best friend. Well, probably not, but when you're about to go on a month-long vacation, he should be. As said, water damage has the potential to cause severe damage to your home. It can ruin flooring, furniture and other possessions as well as cause damage to the integrity of your walls and foundation. If you spring a leak the day after you leave, and no one goes into the home until you return at the end of a month, the damage will be extensive and expensive. The worst part? Not every water loss is covered by insurance. This is where your neighbor comes into play. Give them a spare set of keys and have them enter the home periodically to ensure nothing horrible has happened inside. When you get back, and the house is still intact, give your neighbor a neat souvenir and a hearty thank you.
But what if you don't have neighbors or family who can check in on the home? Play it safe and go straight to the source of your water-the water main-and turn it off before you leave. This is a great idea even if your home is looked after by someone, but is crucial if it's not.
HOW TO PREVENT WATER DAMAGE WHILE ON VACATION - DO AN INSPECTION
With or without your neighbor's help, do a thorough inspection of every water-related item in your home, from the washing machine to the toilets. The more potential leaks you find and fix before you leave, the safer your home is from water damage while you're gone.
Things to inspect:
- Pipes under every sink.
- Water heater.
- Seals around windows (in case it rains).
- Appliance hoses: washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker.
- Sump pump. Dump a bucket of water into the sump pump to ensure it's working. Make sure to listen to its motor running as well.
- Toilet tanks. Look for cracks that may worsen and leak while you're gone.
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HOW TO PREVENT WATER DAMAGE WHILE ON VACATION - QUICK TIPS
- Turn off the water main.
- Drain every pipe after the water main is turned off, including outside spigots. Turn on the sink faucets until no more water comes out. Flush the toilets to drain the bowl and as much of the tank as you can.
- Put anti-freeze in the toilet bowl during the winter. Even if you turn off the water main and drain the tank, there will still be some water in the bowl. Pour marine antifreeze (which is non-toxic) into the bowl to prevent the water from freezing, expanding and cracking the porcelain.
- Insulate exposed pipes if you're leaving during the winter. You can buy the right insulation at any local hardware store.
- Leave the cupboard doors open under the sinks. This allows air to circulate around the pipes.
- Keep the HVAC system turned on. Your home needs constant air circulation to maintain itself properly. Without it, condensation can build and cause water damage or mold to grow, and pipes can freeze.
- Clean the gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris so they can divert rainwater the way they are intended to.
HOW TO PREVENT WATER DAMAGE WHILE ON VACATION - WHAT HAVE I JUST COME HOME TO?
Did you just come back from vacation to find water damage in your home? You're not alone. No method of prevention is 100% foolproof, so even if you took the appropriate steps to avoid water damage while on vacation, you can still come home to costly repairs. The first action to remedy the situation is not to panic. The second is to call a water damage restoration company. They will perform water extraction where needed and start drying out the affected areas. You also want to call your insurance company so that they can send out an adjuster. This is the only way you can make an insurance claim for the water loss, and they want you to act as quickly as possible to avoid an escalation of costs.
More info? For more information about your water main, check out our other post: HOW TO LOCATE YOUR MAIN WATER SHUT OFF VALVE
Call 877-957-5670 to schedule an appointment with an AdvantaClean water damage specialist today!