Preventing Water Damage on Vacation
7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage While Away
According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky or busted pipes and appliances cause millions of dollars in damage during freezing weather and storms. Leaky pipes don't take a vacation when you do and can burst, generating hundreds of dollars of repairs. Prevent water damage while your on vacation by using this checklist:
Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation
Check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should check the seals by your windows to make sure there are no cracks. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see the condition of your roof shingles. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.
Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances
You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers/dryers, and refrigerators.
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 overflows which can lead to foundation problems and water damages 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. Run a few tests, listen to the sounds it makes, and ensure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you're away.
Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you plan 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. Ease Your Mind By Turning Off the Water
Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. Drain the pipes 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. Open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.