Preventing Water Damage to Home While Traveling

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You and your loved ones are driving home from the airport after a week-long vacation where many memories have been made. You are feeling content and ready to get back to real life, but tired after spending a day in various airports. Your own bed and familiar surroundings will be a comfort after a long day. These images of comfort vanish as you walk into your home, luggage in hand, to discover your recent vacation has just turned into a nightmare…a pipe has burst while you have been gone, your basement has several feet of standing water which has led to extreme damage to your furniture, your personal possessions, your carpet, and even the structural integrity of your home. Welcome home!

All Dry Water Damage Experts has seen this scenario play out too many times with our customers. It is bad enough when burst pipes or the recent downpours leave several feet of water in your home when you are at work or school for the day. But when these conditions are discovered after the house has been left unoccupied for multiple days or weeks, the severity of the damage is multiplied. The amount of time it takes before water damage is mitigated is the most critical factor in the severity of damage, as well as how much it will cost to remediate and restore your home.

Most people heading off on a trip do not consider the possibility that there will be water damage to their house while they are gone. However, water damage is the second most common homeowners’ insurance claim. Rainwater can enter your home, your hot water heater can burst, your sump pump may fail, pipes may burst after a freeze. We encourage you to take the time and the necessary steps to make sure you are not one of these unlucky statistics!

It is a good idea to be proactive in identifying maintenance issues inside and outside of your home and address these issues immediately. Do periodic checks for leaks, especially under sinks or around water heaters. What is the condition of the seals around the windows of your home? What condition is your roof in? Are there any damaged or dislodged shingles on your roof? Perform an inspection of hoses to your major appliances (i.e., dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators). Do any of these hoses need to be replaced due to age or damage? Are your rain gutters free of debris?

It is also important to regularly perform an examination of your sump pump to make sure it is operating properly. One way to do this is to fill the pump and run it to make sure that the water is going outside as it should. You may want to consider utilizing a battery-powered backup source for the sump pump in case of power outages while you are traveling.

One last maintenance task to prevent floods in your home is to make sure all exposed pipes are insulated which can be accomplished with protective sleeves purchased at your local Home Depot or Lowes. During winter months make sure all hoses are removed from outdoor spigots and that the spigots are covered with bib protectors. Has your sprinkler system been properly blown out in the fall?

Most people are rushing around the day before a trip getting laundry done and bags packed. Finding out 24 hours before your flight leaves that you need to repair shingles on your roof, caulk window seals, clean out your rain gutters, and get a plumber to your house to fix a leaky pipe isn’t very practical! All Dry recommends being proactive in identifying and resolving problems that may lead to water damage.

It is ideal to have someone check in on your house while you are traveling to ensure no water damage emergencies have occurred. This person should be familiar with the location of the water main in case a pipe does burst so they can turn the water off and prevent further damage. If this is not a possibility, play it safe and make sure the water is shut off at the main and pipes are drained. When traveling in winter months, never shut the heat off to save on heating costs! All Dry recommends keeping the heat at least on low to help prevent pipes from freezing.

I am leaving at the end of the week for ten days with my children to go on a much anticipated Disney cruise. As the President of All Dry Water Damage Experts and as a 15 year resident of Colorado I know that even though it is only October I still need to make sure my sprinklers are blown out before I leave and my pipes are protected. With all the rain and hail that we received just last week, I need to go check my gutters and make sure my roof is still in good condition. By taking these steps I will be able to relax on my trip and know after we have created all our wonderful memories I will be coming home to a warm, dry home! I wish the same for all my customers with their travels. If you do discover water damage in your home, call All Dry right away…we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we will be there to help you. Safe travels!

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