Don’t Return from Christmas Vacation to Find Water Damage
Planning for a Christmas vacation is something that millions of homeowners and renters across the nation will begin doing very soon – if they haven’t already! They’ll be making plane reservations (or plotting out their road trip destinations), purchasing new clothes, deciding on what they’ll do and where they’ll eat, and all sorts of new stuff. Fun times, indeed!
Spending a week or two away from home for Christmas vacation will likely be a blast and the last thing you want is to return home to a situation where a pipe has burst or water has leaked somewhere. Just imagine coming home to such a nightmare! Luckily, however, this is something that’s easy to avoid. Here are some of our favorite tips to keep you from returning home from your vacation to find water damage waiting for you:
Turn Off the Water
This is, very simply, the easiest way for homeowners to avoid water damage while you’re away. Turning off the water may seem like a bit of a hassle, but it can save you from experiencing water damage when you arrive home from your vacation. If you don’t know where your home’s main shut-off valve is, then you may want to call a professional to accomplish the task for you.
Drain the Pipes
If you decide to follow our first tip and simply shut off the main water valve for your home, then you’re not quite done. The water that’s already in your pipes can freeze up when the weather gets especially cold, which can produce stress in your pipes and may cause them to burst. This has the potential to cause just as much damage as if you hadn’t turned off the water at all. So, make sure you drain the pipes completely after switching off the main valve.
Keep Your HVAC Running
At first glance, it may seem like a great idea to switch your HVAC system off while you’re away since you don’t need to use it. The problem, though, is that a buildup of condensation when the air isn’t being circulated can freeze and cause damage, in addition to perpetuating the growth of mold and mildew. You don’t have to run the system as you would if you were home, but keeping the home at a mild temperature above 55 degrees is a good idea.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Oh, not this annoying chore again, right? Cleaning your gutters and downspouts probably isn’t on your “fun things to do” list, but it’s a necessary evil if you’re going away for an extended period of time, especially during the months of the year where rain and snow are likely. If leaves and debris have clogged up these areas and it rains or snows while you’re not at home, the ensuing water could cause severe damage to your home. And don’t forget about the formation of ice dams on your roof during the winter – proper cleaning will take care of that nuisance, too.
Put Your Trust in a Friend
It never hurts to have a backup plan prepared while you’re away on vacation. Find a trusted friend to check in on your house from time to time. Every few days should suffice. He or she should check for any water leaks, condensation, clogged gutters and downspouts, HVAC system problems, etc. On a slightly different note, it’s even better if you can get someone to stay at your home full-time, as this will both prevent the likelihood of water damage and deter any would-be burglars from taking advantage of you being away (hey, we want you to come home with everything the way you left it).
Even if you’ve taken all the precautions in the world, water damage can still occur while you’re on vacation. But no matter when damage occurs, you’ll need an expert to help you clean it up and restore your home back to its proper condition. Reach out to the professionals at Abbotts Fire & Flood and we’ll take care of all your restoration needs, no matter what time of year it is.