How to Prevent Home Damage While on Vacation
In between laundry, packing suitcases and dreaming of our vacation; we don’t usually remember to check our pipes or unplug the dryer. But these quick tips can help prevent water or fire damage to your home while you are away.
In the event that something does happen, we are able to help restore your home. However, prevention is key when leaving for an extended amount of time.
-Create a home inventory list- a detailed list of items you own will be helpful in the event of any home damage
-Check for leaks especially under sinks and around the water heater. Make sure window seals are in good shape, and that there are no damaged roof shingles. Repair, recaulk, and replace as needed.
-Check the hoses that attach to major appliances like washing machines and dishwashers for kinks or old damaged hoses.
–Insulate any exposed pipes to them to prevent them from freezing. Leave the heat on low to prevent pipes from freezing up.
-Unplug all appliances and electronics – This includes things like your washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, computer, etc. One of the leading causes of the 400,000 house fires every year is electrically-related. Not to mention, a lot of energy will be saved.
Note: When traveling during the holidays, keep in mind that many fires involving Christmas trees are electrical fires. Always follow the instructions on the lights and do not connect more than 3 sets. Use a power strip if you need to connect multiple sets so that you are not connecting to each other. Always unplug the lights completely from the wall socket when you are going to sleep or leaving your home.
-Set your thermostat to 60 F degrees in the winter and 85 F degrees in the summer to keep electronics cool and give the house an occupied appearance. Having no air conditioner running on a summer day is a sign to a thief that no one is home. Turn the water heater down to the “vacation,” “low” or “pilot” setting
-Find a neighbor or a friend to check on your home and show them where the thermostat and water main are located.
If there is no one to keep an eye on your home, shut off the water while you are gone and drain the pipes to keep them from bursting during freezing weather. Drain pipes by continuously running the water until and it runs out and flushing the toilets after you’ve shut off the water. Open cupboards under sinks to allow warm air to circulate. This will eliminate the chances of a pipe leak or burst that could flood and create home damage.
Hopefully this will not happen to you but if so, please use our site for tips on how to carefully select a restoration company here.