The worst time for water damage is when you are away on a trip. After all, what could surpass coming home from a relaxing summer vacation only to find that your house has flooded or otherwise severely damaged by water?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage is the second most common claim filed by property owners. Whether it is from a burst pipe, supply line leaks, washing machine hoses, water heater leaks, or damage from other appliances, the repercussions are disastrous: it can destroy carpets, furniture, and the structural integrity of your walls. To avoid catastrophe while you are on vacation, below are a few helpful tips on how to prepare a home for vacation to prevent water damage from occurring.
How to Prepare a Home for Vacation to Prevent Water Damage from Occurring
· Conduct a thorough inspection of your home before leaving
Before you leave for your vacation, conduct a thorough check for any water leaks. Inspect all pipes under kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks. Examine your water heater for any cracks or rust. Ascertain that all windows and doors are sealed and that your roof is in perfect condition to prevent water leaks. Moreover, do not forget to check any hoses connected to washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other important appliances to ensure they are not leaking or are in good condition.
· Clear your gutters and downspouts
Clogged up downspouts and rain gutters and downspouts can lead to foundation flooding if there are any leaves, debris, sticks, or dirt clogging the gutters. As water spills over the gutters from debris, it will pool and sink into your home’s foundation, ultimately leading to major leaks, dislodged or damaged shingles, and severe water damage. Taking the time to remove all the debris from the gutters can prevent major problems down the road. Additionally, you should ensure that the downspouts discharge at least 10ft away from your home to prevent flooding.
· Ask someone to check your home while you are away
If you will be away for a while, consider asking a trusted friend or neighbor to look in on things around your house in your absence. Create a checklist of items they can inspect to catch any problems in the early stages. Having someone visit or house sit your home once a day helps ensure that any potential problem will be detected and stopped before causing further damage.
· Inspect the supply lines
Always inspect your main water supply lines and swap out any plastic ones for stainless steel. It is a cheap fix and will minimize the risk for leaks, both while you are at home and away. Otherwise, any cracks can result in pipe leaks and pipe bursts that can cause hefty home water damage repair expenses. Thus, it is crucial to replace supply lines if necessary to prevent water damage in your home.
· Turn off the main water valve and supply line valves
If you cannot have anyone visit or house-sit your home, shut off the main water valve if possible. If you have never done this before, test it by turning on a faucet to ascertain it was well done. If you do not know where it is located, find it as soon as possible.
If you need to leave the main water valve on, show your family member(s) or a friend where it is located and how to shut it off in case they need to for any reason.
If they are not needed, you should turn off the water supply valves to the dishwasher, toilets, washing machines, refrigerator, and other major appliances.
· Inspect and test the sump pump and water heater
Property owners with sump pump systems should test them before vacation to ascertain that it works effectively. Sump pump systems help prevent you from having a flooded basement. Test the system by filling up the sump pit with water and assessing whether or not it is pumping out the water. Also, you may want to add a battery-powered backup source to your sump pump, so it continues operation even during a power outage, which often happens during heavy rainstorms. Check for any leak or water around the bottom seals of the tank. Have your trusted friend check it out if you are away on vacation. If any leak is detected, have your house sitter call a plumber or water damage restoration expert to come to assess and fix the situation before further damage can occur.
· Leave your HVAC system running
During winter, a running HVAC system helps prevent freezing pipes. The constant air circulating from your HVAC system helps prevent condensation from building up and causing water damage. However, the lines can still freeze even when the heat is on. Shut off the water supply and drain your pipes. Install a low-temperature sensor and water-flow sensor on your water main.
Prevent Water Damage while on Vacation – What if you Come Home to Disaster?
While embracing preemptive measures is your ideal plan of action to prevent water damage during the holidays, nothing is certainly guaranteed. Sometimes, regardless of the best preparations, things can still go haywire. So, what do you do when your house floods while you are on vacation? Do not panic! This is vital to all issues, including water damage. Call Matrix Mitigation Services to mitigate the damage. We will quickly remove water and dry the affected areas to prevent further damage and harmful molds from forming.
What to do after Discovering Water Damage in Your Home?
If you come home to a flooding disaster, Matrix Mitigation Services can help reduce the effect of water damage to your house. When you contact us, here is what we will do for you:
- Free diagnostic. Our certified and licensed team of experts determines the category of the water damage you have experienced. The water damage extent determines the plan of action.
- Quick water removal and dehumidification. This is a fundamental step to reducing damage while preventing the growth of bacteria and mold. Our team of specialists works to remove water and dehumidify or dry the affected areas using powerful extractors and air movers to get the job done In accordance with IICRC Standards.
- Sanitation and cleaning. We ascertain that your home’s affected area(s) is completely safe to be reoccupied. If necessary, we bring in air scrubbers to remove moisture from the air and airborne particles resulting in health problems.
- Restoration. If the damage is far-reaching and has affected walls, cabinets, windows, or floors, for instance, we will ensure to document this for your insurance properly. Then we begin work immediately to repair your living space.
- Insurance help. Water damage restoration can be very expensive. We give you invaluable assistance filing your claim if you are using insurance coverage. Sometimes, a wrong statement can make you lose a lot of money toward your homeowner’s insurance claim.
Let our skilled and esteemed personnel handle your water damage repair claim and be stress-free. We will work directly with your insurance adjuster to get your water damage claim filed and paid. Do not let water damage put a damper on your fond holiday memories. Call Matrix Mitigation Services at 762-224-0444 for a quick response, exceptional customer service, and high-quality assistance with your flooding emergency. We live by our promises. We’ve got you covered!