The holiday season is upon us. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and other year-end holidays are some of the most traveled times of the year in the U.S. In fact; AAA estimates that more than 103 million Americans, a new record, will travel during the end-of-the-year holidays in 2016.
When you’re visiting your friends or family this year, the last thing you want to worry about is a water emergency inside your home or apartment. However, indoor water damage is always a risk, whether you’re traveling or not. Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to prepare your home for a water emergency. Here are three tips to help avoid water damage in your home while traveling this year.
Inspect Your Home Before You Leave
When people are planning to travel during the holidays, they think about steps like buying and wrapping gifts, packing their luggage, purchasing travel tickets, finding someone to watch their pets, and other miscellaneous travel preparation steps. However, few people take the time to inspect their home for potential water hazards properly.
Inspecting your home before leaving is a preventative measure that can help eliminate any water damage before it occurs. Look at the pipes under your sinks, check the water heater, assess the hoses that connect to your major appliances (dishwasher, washing machine or refrigerator), and check your gutters and roof for potential weak spots.
Inspecting and repairing hazardous water areas in your home will help eliminate the risk of damage while you’re away.
Shut Off the Water
The Insurance Information Institute says that water damage is the second most frequent insurance claim for homeowners. Water damage is particularly destructive the longer it is left untreated, and if you’re traveling for the holidays, the standing water could sit for days before you find it. Thus, one of the easiest ways to prevent water damage while you’re away is to shut off the source of water in your home.
Find the main water valve, electrical switch if you have a well, and turn it off. If you’ve never done this before, you should test it before you leave for vacation. Turn on a faucet and then switch off your water main. Once the water faucet stops, you know you have properly shut off your main water source.
Shutting off the main water source to your home is an easy way to prevent water damage while you’re traveling. This preventative step could save you thousands of dollars in potential damage.
Schedule Frequent Check-Ups
If you’re traveling, one of the smartest steps you can take is to have a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend periodically check on your home. Having someone you trust visit your home from time-to-time, while you’re away, will help prevent water damage and can also deter burglars.
If you do schedule frequent check-ups, be sure to provide the person with instructions in case of a water emergency. For instance, if there is an indoor flood, they will need to know the best local water damage company to contact for assistance. Additionally, that person should know where your water main is located so they can turn it off if a water emergency does occur.
Having a trusted set of eyes on your home or apartment, while you’re traveling, will help give you peace of mind and prevent unnecessary water damage.
The last thing anyone wants to see when returning from a holiday vacation is their home and personal belongings damaged from a water incident. Still, there are elements out of your control that could still cause a water emergency in your home. Even if you’ve done all the steps above, there is always the possibility that water damage could happen.
If you do arrive home from the holidays to water damage, you need to stay calm and contact your local water emergency specialists. The longer water remains inside your home; the more costly and severe the damages will become.
By taking preventative steps and having a contingency plan in case you do experience water damage, you can travel this holiday season with peace of mind.