Going on Vacation? Safeguard Your Home Against Water Damage

02A12QM2Every year, hundreds of homeowners face the misfortune of uncovering water damage in their home. Water damage can devalue a home’s worth, destroy its usefulness and make it an unpleasant place to live. Leaky appliances, burst pipes, leaks in windows or roof or unexpected flooding can cause major water damage in a home. This damage can be even more devastating if you were on vacation at the time. No homeowner can protect his or her property from every eventuality. However, you can take precautions to reduce the risk of water damage, especially when going on vacation and leaving the house alone. By prepping your home in advance, you can avoid problems that could lead to water damage while you’re gone. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Do a Home Inspection

Before taking off on holiday, do a home inspection to locate and fix water leaks around faucets, appliance hoses, water heater and pipes beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. Even minor leaks can cause problems if you’re going to be away for some time. Getting these repaired before leaving could save you an expensive cleanup job upon coming home. In addition to checking for water leaks inside, inspect your home’s windows and roof to ensure no rainwater can leak through in the event of stormy weather while you’re gone. You may need to re-caulk windows or replace worn roof shingles, if necessary. to safeguard your home.

Clean Out Gutters

Check rain gutters and downspouts to make sure they are free of dirt and debris that can cause a backlog of rainwater. Clutter-free gutters and downspouts will allow water to drain properly away from the home structure. If your home lacks gutter guards to keep the gutters from clogging, consider having them installed before starting your vacation as extra protection for your property.

Insulate Pipes

If you live in a cold clime, insulate all exposed pipes so they don’t freeze and burst while you’re off on winter holidays. You can purchase fiberglass sleeves or foam rubber from most hardware stores to protect exposed pipes as well as protective bibs to cover outside spigots. Leaving your heat on low while you’re gone is yet another preventative measure against pipes freezing in extreme cold weather. When possible, ask a friend, relative or neighbor to check on your home every so often to ensure it’s safe during your absence.

Turn Off Main Water Valve

If you plan to be gone awhile, turn off the main water valve in your home and drain your pipes by running all faucets and flushing toilets before you go. This will prevent your pipes from freezing over while you’re gone. For greater peace of mind, have an emergency water pressure release valve installed in your plumbing network to reduce excess water pressure, minimizing the risk of pipes bursting due to freezing over. By doing your part, you can safeguard your home environment against water damage when both present and absent from your abode.
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