Prevent Water Damage While Traveling Away From Home
Plane tickets booked and hotel accomodations confirmed? Check ….
All laundry done? Check …
Doggies booked at the dog sitter? Check …
Before going on that much awaited vacation, or going away for the holidays, make sure nothing will put a damper (this we mean in a literal way) on that fabulous time away when you get back.
Returning and finding your home flooded and water damaged is one thing you do not want to happen. One way to prevent this is to “flood proof” your home before you leave for a vacation.
The major sources of flooding in your home are frozen pipes, leaking water supply lines, ruptured washer hoses, and dripping water heaters. Here, we give you a few ways to prevent holiday water damage so you can set off to your getaway with peace of mind:
Call a friend. Ask the help of a neighbor or a friend who lives nearby to check in on your home to ensure that there are no problems. If there are issues, a water damage restoration company can quickly be called and engaged right away.
This prevents further damage and more costly repairs down the road.
Invest in a sensor. These can be bought from your local home improvement store. They don’t cost too much and can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
And there are great options available that can be linked to your smartphone or tablet through an app. These can sense a leak and even automatically shut off water at the source.
Do a thorough check. You can minimize the risk of flooding and prevent holiday water damage by finding potential leaks and fixing them before they cause any problems while you’re gone.
Here’s a useful checklist of water-related items in your home that you should thoroughly inspect before you leave for your holiday. Things to look for:
Supply lines that lead from shut-off valves to appliances (washing machines, dishwasher, and ice maker), faucets, and toilets. These become brittle with age which can leak and break at any time.
If you find any leaks, cracks or any signs of deterioration, it is best to replace them before you leave. If possible, use stainless steel braided hoses which last longer than rubber or plastic hoses. They are likewise less likely to leak.
And, as we explain below, best practice is to close the shut off valves before you leave.
Sump pump. If you have one, make sure it is running well by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pump. Check if it is pumping out water. And make sure that the the motor is actually running.
If you live in a place where it gets colder, make sure the outlet pipe is not frozen or clogged and that it gets water away from your home. If necessary, clean the hole in the discharge line.
You may also want to add a back battery to your sump pump so it continues to function even during power outages, which often occur during heavy rainstorms.
Pipes under every sink. Check for any water drips or leaks which can worsen while you are away from home.
Toilet tanks. Look for cracks that may worsen and leak while you're gone.
Water heater. Look for leaks or water around the bottom seals of the tank.
Seals around windows and doors (in case it rains).
Shut off water main. Shutting off the main valve which controls all the water to your home is your best protection against water damage. In fact, everyone in your home should know where the main water shutoff valve is located so anyone can turn off the water in an emergency..
The main valve maintained by the city or county where you live is located near your water meter and can be cumbersome to access and difficult to turn. Another option available, is to have a simple-to-use shut off valve installed by a licensed plumber closer to the house.
This is a fairly affordable option and makes it feasible for anyone in the household to help with this task.
Make sure to drain every pipe after you’ve turned off the water main, including outside spigots. To do this, turn on all faucets until no more water comes out. Flush the toilets, as well, to drain the bowl and as much of the the water tank as you can.
Shut off water supply valves. If you need to leave your main water supply to the property on to run the sprinklers while you’re away for example, you can instead shut off valves to all major appliances - dishwasher, ice maker in your refrigerator, water heater, and washing machine.
Toilets, as well as sinks, are common sources of leaks. These have simple valves underneath which you should shut off.
Check your gutters. Clean gutters and downspouts are important to avoid major and expensive home repairs. To prevent holiday water damage, do a walk about and check your gutters. Check for leaves, branches and other debris that may be blocking the inlet of the downspouts that can prevent water from flowing down.
Also make sure that downspout extensions are discharging the water far enough from your home’s foundation.
Keep your HVAC on. This is to keep constant air circulation that prevents condensation from building up and causing water damage. It also prevents mold growth. If you live in a location where temperatures can get freezing, it can prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
Keep cabinet doors open under the sinks. This keeps the air circulating around the pipes and prevents condensation from building up.
Prevent Water Damage While Traveling - What If You Come Home to Disaster
While being proactive is still your best plan of action to prevent holiday water damage, nothing is really 100% guaranteed. Sometimes, despite the best preparations, things can still go haywire.
So what do you do when you find flooding when you come home from your relaxing holiday time away?
Don’t panic! This is key to all problems - water damage included. The first thing to do is to call a professional water restoration company to mitigate damage. They will quickly work to remove water and dry the affected areas to stop further damage and prevent harmful molds from forming.
Call The Water Damage Restoration Expert
When you come home to a flooding disaster, FIVE STAR RESTORATION can help minimize the effects of water damage to your home.
When you call us, here is what we do for you:
Free Diagnostic. Our certified team determines the class and the category of water damage that you have experienced in your home. The extent of the damage will determine the plan of action..
Quick Water Removal and Drying/Dehumidification. This is a crucial step in minimizing damage while preventing the growth of mold and bacteria. We work to remove water and dry the affected areas using powerful extractors and air movers to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Sanitation and Cleaning. We make sure that the affected area in your home is completely safe to be occupied again. If needed, we bring in air scrubbers to remove moisture from the air, as well as, airborne particles that can cause health problems.
Restoration. If the damage is extensive and has affected floors, cabinets, or walls for example, we ensure that this is properly documented for your insurance and then we begin work immediately in getting started on repairing your living space.
Insurance Assistance. Water damage restoration can be costly. If you are covered by insurance, we give you invaluable assistance in filing your claim. Sometimes, one wrong statement is all it takes and you end up losing thousands of dollars toward your claim from your homeowner’s insurance.
Let us handle your water damage repair claim and be worry free. Your insurance adjuster will work directly with us to get your water damage claim filed and paid.
Don’t let water damage put a damper on your fond holiday memories. Call FIVE STAR RESTORATION for a quick response and high quality assistance with your flooding emergency.
Call us at this number - 951.368.2227.
We have technicians on standby 24/7 to help you.
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