Ring. Ring. Sam picks up the phone, listens to the caller in concern and hangs ups. He turns to his wife and says, ‘Honey, we need to head back home right now. It’s water damage’.
Water Damage is a homeowner’s nightmare. 14000 people in the U.S experience a water damage emergency every single day. Just imagine the mere intensity of damage it causes!! Water damage is far too frequent a problem to ignore, especially if you are on a hard-earned vacation. So, let’s understand what water damage is and its causes.
Water damage is destruction to property resulting in excess water/flooding at one’s home/ office. Natural causes like heavy rainfall and melting snow often cause water damage. Yet, natural disasters account for lesser damage than the following ones. Mostly leaky roofs, broken pipes, overflowing sinks, AC condensations, damaged toilets, faulty plumbing, cracked gutters etc. cause water damage.
Irrespective of the reason, prevention is better than cure. Like Sam, if you are on a vacation it will be impossible to prevent it. So, when away, follow these 7 tips beforehand to prevent water damage at your beautiful home/office.
1. Professionally Inspect The Plumbing System
This is the most foolproof way of all. Ask a plumber/expert to check the system a week before leaving. Make sure the professional examines all pipes, valves and hoses. Look especially for cracks, leaks, dust collection or rust. It’s good to check for weak/old materials or fixtures. If anything is weak, replace it with a new component or strengthen it.
Plumbing systems need more time to repair, so a week long inspection is a good way to avoid damage. Before leaving for your vacation, make sure all taps and showers are off. It avoids problems like sink overflow. More thorough the examination, the safer it is to leave home.
2. Check The Electrical Appliances
Switch off electrical appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, ACs, sprinklers etc before you leave the house. Often ACs drain lines can clog with dirt over time. If it is left on while we are away, then condensation occurs. The condensed water clogs in the drain line. If it collects excessively, it can damage the AC and pool more water in the vicinity. So, it is always good to switch all appliances off.
3. Check And Clean The Gutters
Gutters contain the most toxic material which can cause severe water contamination. It can affect the health of the residents if leaked outside due to water damage. Ensure the quality of the gutter lines and replace if necessary. For example, sometimes strong materials like steel can remove the possibility of cracks. Check the joints between two pipes/lines and tighten the loose joints.
Clean out leaves, grass, mud, dirt etc which collect in the gutter lines. It helps reduce pressure which builds up due to clogging. If clean, no extra pressure is on the lines which avoid cracks.
4. Install Water Leak Sensor
We all have smoke alarms at home. Then, why not get a water leak alarm? Several water leak sensory equipment are available in the market today. These sensors trigger when there is a continuous increase in water flow. Often, these sensors are put in bathrooms, kitchens and basements. However, when these sensors fail to work, it’s best to call an expert to help you repair flooded basements, bathrooms, kitchens etc.
5. Inform The Neighbors/Friends
It is preferable to inform your neighbors of your absence. They can keep an eye on your house when you’re away on vacation. Neighbors can come to the rescue when something unfavorable happens. They can call and inform you about the situation immediately. Similarly, we can put our friends in charge of the house when on the holiday. There’s no one we trust as our dear friends, so why not let them be the guardian of the house?
6. Turnoff The Main Valve
In a scenario when none of the above methods seem possible, turn off the main valve at your home. This cuts off water supply to all the taps, faucets or pipelines entirely. Turning off the main water valve can ensure complete safety and help you enjoy your vacation without fear of water mishap. This is by far the easiest and safest way to avoid water damage when you’re on vacation.
7. Restore The Roof
Several times leaks on the roof can pave way to severe water damage. It starts as roof damage but can grow in size with more rainfall/snow. Therefore, one must inspect the quality of roofs from time to time. Tighten roof flashings regularly around chimneys/ roof edges. It avoids rook leaks.
Water damages are terrible disasters which one can avoid easily. So, do follow the above tips before you go to your next vacation. Vacations are precious to us and so are our homes. A little bit of safety can save both property and peace of mind.
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