How to Prevent Water Damage While You're on Vacation
One of the highest insurance claims by homeowners is water damage, according to a study done by the Insurance Information Institute. In fact, leaky pipes and in often cases appliances cause millions of dollars of damage in freezing weather and storms annually. While you’re on vacation, it’s no surprise that a leaky pipe can burst and cause hundreds of dollars of repairs. This is why it’s important to read our steps below on how to prevent water damage to your home while you’re away.
Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation
Before embarking on your trip, check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should also check the seals around your windows to make sure there are no cracks that might cause water damage. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see what condition your roof shingles are in. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.
Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances
It’s important that you inspect the hoses that connect to important appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washer/dryers, and refrigerator. If there is any damage, you should get the hose replaced before you leave to prevent extensive water damage.
Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters
Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won’t have any blockages that can cause damage while you’re away.
Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump
Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. You should also run a few tests, listening to the sounds it makes and making sure that the water in the pump is actually going outside. You should also install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you’re away.
Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you are planning on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.
Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home
Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.
Step 7. Turn Off the Water
Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. You will also want to drain the pipes completely so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. You should also open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.