While you’ve made arrangements for someone to water your garden, stopped your mail, and scheduled a ride to the airport, did you shut off the water main to your house? If you didn’t, you’ve neglected an important part of securing your home while you’re away.
Water damage can occur at any time of year and since early detection of a leak means the difference in the amount of damage, doing what you can to minimize the risk while you’re not home is essential. Here are some tips to prevent water damage while you’re on vacation.
- Clean your gutters – clogged gutters can lead to water seeping under your roofline and into the walls of your house, particularly in the attic and often in crawlspaces nearest the roofline. Making sure downspouts are clear will help keep water flowing away from your foundation to help prevent basement flooding.
- Elevate your valuables – make sure that any valuables are elevated off the ground if you store them in your basement, even if the basement is finished. For extra protection, valuables like paperwork, photos, memorabilia, and other important items should be stored in weather- and fireproof containers.
- Check for dripping – visually inspect pipes under the sink, where they connect to appliances in the kitchen and laundry room, and in the basement where the pipes leave the house. Catching a leak early on can make the difference between a simple replacement and extensive damage.
- Turn off the water main – turning off the water main while you’re away can help prevent major problems like a pipe burst. Be sure to know your water heater manufacturer’s recommendations for whether the electric or gas should also be shut off to prevent tank damage.
- Recruit a neighbor – since early detection is key, having a trusted person walk through your home to make sure everything is okay is also a good idea.
With a checklist like this, you can help ensure you return to the home you left and not one devastated by water damage.
For additional information, we recommend Chubb’s Water Damage Prevention Tips (PDF).
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