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How to Prevent Water Damage at Home While You’re on Vacation

There’s no worse time for water damage to occur than when you’re on vacation. After spending all your money and energy during your trip, there’s nothing that can be worse than coming home to a severely water-damaged house.

Unfortunately, this disaster is common among many property owners. The Insurance Institute has actually reported this as the second most common claim filed by homeowners: water damage at home. Regardless if it’s from a burst pipe, washing machine hoses, storms, water heater leaks, or supply line leaks, these are disastrous problems.

Thankfully, there are tips you can take before you leave in order to prevent water damage at home while you’re on vacation:

magnifying glass in kitchen

1. Conduct a Thorough Inspection of the Home Before Leaving

Make sure to check for any leaks, inspecting all pipes under kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as examining your water heater for any cracks or rust. Also make sure that windows and doors are completely sealed and that your roof is in good condition to prevent against any leaks.

You shouldn’t forget to inspect any hoses connected to dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines to ensure they aren’t leaking or are in good condition.

2. Clear Gutters and Downspouts of Debris

Downspouts and gutters can result in the foundation flooding if there are any debris, dirt, leaves, or sticks clogging the gutters. As the water spills over the top of gutters from the debris, it will pool and sink into the home’s foundation, eventually leading to a basement flood.

Taking the time to remove these obstructions can mean the difference in a clean, dry home and one that is flooded after coming home.

You should also make sure that downspouts are discharging at least 10 feet away from the home to prevent flooding.

3. Ask Someone to Check on the House While You’re Gone

If you’re going to be gone for a while, it’s a good idea to ask a trusted friend or family member to check up on your house while you’re gone. Create a checklist of things for them to inspect to ensure they catch any problems in the beginning stages.

Simply stopping by to make sure everything is in order will ensure that any potential problem is caught and stopped before causing a disaster.

4. Turn Off the Main Water Valve

If you’re unable to have anyone stop in the house, shut off the water valve. If you’re unsure of where it’s located, be sure to find out asap! Let everyone in the house know as well in case anyone needs to shut it off for any reason.

If you’ve never done this, test it by turning on a faucet to ensure it was done properly. But if you do need it on for any reason, turn off the valves to washing machines, dishwasher, refrigerator, toilets, and other major appliances.

5. Replace Supply Lines

Always check your supply lines and switch out any plastic ones for stainless steel. It’s a cheap fix (around $20) and will reduce the risk for leaks, both while you are home and gone. Otherwise any cracks can lead to leaks and pipe bursts that can cause thousands of dollars in water damage repair costs.

6. Inspect and Test the Sump Pump

All homeowners with sump pumps should ensure that they work effectively before going on vacation. This can mean the difference between a dry and flooded basement when you come home. You can test it by filling the sump pit with water and inspect to see if it’s really pumping out the water.

What to Do in Case of a Flood

There’s only so much that you can do to prevent water damage in your home while you’re away. If you come back and have still found a problem, you may have limited the damage as much as possible by following the prevention tips listed above. However, some cases of water damage are just unavoidable.

To address any type of water damage after you come home, don’t hesitate to contact a water damage restoration professional immediately. Many will respond right away to limit the damage and prevent it from spreading further.

Emergency Water Damage Restoration

If you live in the Cary, IL area, ServiceMaster Kwik Restore is available 24/7 to respond with water damage restoration services. We will handle all parts of the process so you can finally relax and have some peace of mind after your vacation.

Each of our technicians is IICRC-certified, trained, and experienced to respond right away with efficient and effective services.

We will first extract all standing water, followed by setting up drying and dehumidification equipment to remove moisture from the affected area. All structural damage will be repaired, and the hard surfaces will be disinfected using professional cleaning products to prevent any microbial growth. At the end of the service, we will work with your insurance company during the claims process to provide additional peace of mind.