Around half of all home insurance claim are related to water damage and a significant percentage of water damage claims is related to the problems that appeared while the owners of the home were away. Whether you set off on a journey in summer or in winter, taking precaution measures to prevent water damage when you leave town and there will be nobody home for a couple of weeks is essential – here are some of the things that you can do to protect your home.
Ask Someone to Check Your Home Every Couple of Days
If you have a friend or a neighbor that you trust, it is a good idea to ask that person to pay a quick visit to your home every few days to check whether everything is in order. While checking the building, your friend should check the temperature inside the home (before you leave, you should set your thermostat to 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure that your pipes, faucets, other plumbing fixtures and your plants are not at the risk of freezing) as well as the plumbing and gas fixtures to ensure they are all closed and safe.
Prevention Measures Before You Leave Home
Water damage Fort Collins experts suggest you should check all the systems in your home, paying special attention to the plumbing;
- Shut off the main water valve and make sure that there is no water in the pipes – this step is especially important if you have outdoor pipes and you are planning a winter trip;
- Don’t leave any appliance that uses water turned on – disconnecting your dishwasher and your washing machine is very important before you are leaving;
- Stop the water in the basement, too – basements are the spaces that are the most commonly affected by water damage in homes. Before you leave, check any plumbing that you have in your basement and close any spigots and faucets;
- Clean gutters and downspouts – this might seem strange, but water damage to your home can be caused not only by dripping fixtures or frozen pipes. Gutters and downspouts that get clogged can also cause damage – if your roof drainage system fails to direct water away from your building, the water that pours down on your walls can damage your drywall and it might also soak your basement and damage the foundation of your building. Fortunately, gutters and downspouts are easy to clean – all you need is a safe ladder, a suitable scraping tool and a bucket to collect the debris that you find up there;
- Seal your doors and windows – water damage can also occur if rain that is too heavy or melted snow comes in under your doors or through the windows. Before you leave, make sure that all your doors and windows seal properly. If you consider it necessary, install rubber sealing around the doors and windows to ensure safety. The sealing will help you keep warm air inside your building, so it is beneficial for energy-efficiency purposes as well.