Water damage is one of the biggest nightmares for homeowners. While many think that storm-related losses are the primary cause, it’s actually leaks in pipes and connections that often lead to water damage due to poor maintenance. This can be especially devastating when it happens while you’re away from home. To avoid the heartache and expenses that come with water damage, consider the following tips:
Use Appliances Only When You’re Home and Awake
Turning on appliances before leaving the house is risky as appliances and their supply lines can fail at any moment. Treat water-related appliances like you would with your stove or oven. You wouldn’t leave your oven on when you go out, so don’t start your dishwasher or washing machine before leaving home either.
Install Leak Detection Sensors
Installing leak detection sensors is an easy and affordable way to get early warnings of potential water problems throughout your home. While more advanced sensors require professional installation, you can find many products that you can install yourself in strategic locations where water leaks may occur. Receive real-time alerts on your smartphone to stay informed.
Set Up Automatic Shut-Offs
Some leak detection systems come with automatic shut-off capabilities, which are designed to shut down water flow when a leak is detected, minimizing water damage to your home.
Know Your Shut-off Valve Locations
It’s important to know the location of your main water shut-off valve and the individual shut-off valves for your appliances and fixtures, such as washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, and sinks. Knowing where the shut-off valves are located can help you isolate a leak when it occurs and prevent further damage to your property.
Keep Your Home Heated in the Wintertime
If you live in a cold climate, make sure to keep your home heated even if you’re away for a while. Pipes in exterior walls can freeze if the heat is not maintained properly, leading to water damage when the pipes thaw. Set your home’s temperature at 55°F or higher to keep the interior of your home above freezing temperatures.
By following these tips, you can keep your home safe from water damage and avoid the stress and expenses that come with it.
Protect Your Property: Shut Off Water Supply Before Leaving for a Long Time
If you’re planning to leave your home for an extended period, shutting off the main water valve is a wise precaution to take. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. However, you should consult a professional to determine the best course of action.
If you can’t shut off the main valve, you can turn off the individual valves to major appliances and fixtures. This can help you avoid the disastrous consequences of a leak or flood.
Regular Maintenance is Key
To avoid water-related losses, homeowners must maintain their appliances and fixtures. Replace supply lines and valves frequently, especially around sinks and toilets, as they have a limited lifespan.
Older homes and plumbing systems are at greater risk of water damage, and most losses stem from general wear and tear. But with diligence and regular maintenance, these risks can be minimized.
Conduct Visual Inspections Regularly
Regular visual inspections can help identify plumbing problems before they escalate. Check exposed pipes and plumbing parts for signs of corrosion, cracks, deposits, discoloration, and other signs of wear and tear.
If you spot a leak or signs of trouble, contact a professional right away. A thorough assessment can help identify other compromised components that may also need to be replaced.
DIY Repairs Can be Tricky
While it may be tempting to tackle small plumbing repairs yourself, improper installation or over-tightening can cause more harm than good. Always follow the instructions carefully, and be aware of the specific requirements for different fittings.
For larger repairs or complex issues, it’s best to consult a professional plumber to ensure the job is done right.
Home Water Safety Checklist: Protect Your Property While on Vacation
When you’re planning to travel and leave your home unattended, taking steps to prevent water-related damage is crucial. Checklists can help you ensure you’ve covered all the bases, from shutting off the main water valve to checking for leaks and setting the thermostat appropriately.
By following a home water safety checklist, you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind, knowing your property is protected.
- Don’t Let Water Woes Spoil Your Homecoming: Before you leave your property for an extended period of time, it’s wise to shut off your main water valve or individual valves to major appliances like washing machines and toilets. Always seek advice from a professional before taking any action.
- Temperature Matters: A Guide to Thermostat Settings: Ensure that your home stays warm and cozy while you’re away by setting your thermostat to at least 55°F if it’s cold outside.
- Install Leak Detection Sensors: Installing smart leak detection sensors is an excellent way to protect your home from water damage while you’re out. If there’s a leak, the sensors will notify you, and it’s wise to have a trusted neighbor or friend on standby in case of an emergency.
- Clean Your Sump Pump Pit: Before you leave, make sure your sump pump pit is clean and clear, and test it to ensure that it’s functioning correctly.
- Keep Your Plumbing Healthy: Perform a quick visual inspection of your exposed plumbing before you leave. If you notice any discoloration, cracking, deposits, or other issues, don’t hesitate to call a licensed professional for assistance.
Water Damage Is More Than a Home Repair Issue
Remember that plumbing issues can uproot your life, not just damage your home and belongings. Protect your home by being proactive and knowledgeable about maintaining and caring for its systems, and contact your local independent agent or Travelers representative to ensure your home is covered in the event of damage.
And remember that at Houston Restore PROS, we provide 24/7 emergency water removal services to help prevent further damage. Our team of experts is equipped with dehumidifiers, exhaust fans, and dryers to handle even the most extensive flood and water damage.