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Six tips to prevent water damage while on vacation

There’s nothing like a nice vacation to rest up and recharge, but when traveling away from home, thinking about preventing water damage should make for an even more enjoyable vacation, knowing when you do go back home all will be well.

Leaving for vacation involves a lot of work. You stop the mail service, take the dogs or cats (or both) to the “pet hotel” and you inform the neighbors to watch for any suspicious activity.

Here are some tips homeowners can use to ensure water damage does not occur while they are away.

Secure all windows and doors. Remember that a storm can drive water into your home if there is any type of opening, even a small one at a window. Sadly, some have left on vacation with a window cracked open… not a good idea.

Although the weather in the spring and fall may seem mild, just don’t turn off the heat. Keep the thermostat set at a level that ensures nothing inside will freeze. Maybe 50 degrees.

Some hot water heaters have a vacation setting. Play it safe and take advantage of it. And if you notice any water under your water tank, call a plumber before leaving. A small leak can do what small leaks do: Grow into big leaks.

This one is really important! Shut off all water supply sources to anything that might leak, like the washing machine. Even better? If appropriate, shut off the main water supply to the home, but leave instructions if anyone is going to visit or stay at your home while you are away.

Make sure your sump pump is in good working order. A failed sump pump is really, really bad news, flooding your basement maybe the entire time you are on vacation.

Water damage in a home is a terrible thing. A few preparation steps will pay off. If water damage occurs and isn’t remediated quickly, it can turn into a mold issue, requiring expensive mold remediation and cleaning.