Summertime is one of the busiest traveling seasons. It’s a time for fun, relaxation, and memories to be made. The last thing you want is to come back to a home that has been damaged by water! Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent possible water disasters while you’re away and give you the reassurance that your home will be safe and sound when you return.
Check for Leaks
- Leaks shouldn’t be ignored. Before you leave be sure to double check under sinks and around the water heater. Look for any signs of cracks or rust. Replace rubber hoses with steel braided lines. Windows and doors should also be checked to make sure seals are in good condition. If there are any shingles on your roof that need repair, it’s a good time to get it done as well.
Shut Off Main Water Valve or Individual Supply Valves
- The best and perhaps easiest thing you can do to prevent potential water damage while you’re gone is to shut off your home’s main water supply. You can do this by closing the valve on the main supply line. It is usually located in a home’s basement, garage, or outside near the foundation.
- Be sure to test to make sure it is shut off by running a faucet before you leave.
- If you still need water supply to an outside hose or an automatic sprinkler system then you can shut off valves to specific places in your home. These may include ice makers, dishwashers, and washing machines. The individual shut off valves are typically found near the supply line leading to most appliances, toilets, and faucets. Look for an oval handle and turn clockwise to shut off.
Check Supply Lines
- Any signs of cracks, leaks, or corrosion in supply lines mean they need to be replaced before you leave. Use steel braided hoses which will last longer and are more dependable then rubber or plastic lines.
Test the Sump Pump
- If you have a basement, you’ll want to be sure your sump pump is in good working condition. You can test it out by filling it with water and running the pump. Listen for any strange noises from the motor and watch to make sure water is draining outside. Be sure there are no clogs in the outlet pipe. In case of a power outage, it’s a good idea to have a battery powered backup source ready.
Check Your Gutters
- Clear all debris out of gutters and check all downspouts for clogs so that water is draining properly. Be sure that water is draining far enough away from your home and attach an extension or splash block if needed.
Watch the Temperature
- During the summer months, it is important to keep your A/C on even when you are away. This will keep air circulating and avoid potential condensation. Too much heat buildup can lead to expansion and buckling of wood in the home. Too much condensation can lead to possible mold. It is recommended to keep a home at 85 degrees.
Have Someone Check-In
- It’s always a good idea to have a friend or family member periodically checking in on your home while you’re gone. Make sure they know where to locate the main water shut-off valve. Having the valve labeled with a tag or tape is a good idea so that anybody can find it easily.
Before you depart for that summer vacation you can protect your home from water damage by doing just a few simple things. Your preparation will allow you to rest easy knowing you’ve taken the necessary steps to prevent a water disaster while you’re away.
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