Before You Go: A Water Damage Prevention Checklist

checklistWhat could be worse than returning from the vacation ‘of your lifetime’ to a waterlogged and mold-ridden home that is barely recognizable? Drenched wood flooring to the left, moldy drywall to the right, smelly and moldy carpets beneath your feet AND a power outage all around!

Oh, but ‘little is much’ they say!

Sometimes, all it takes is a fairly insignificant measure to avert a potentially major catastrophe. For instance, you can potentially save thousands of dollars in water damage restoration and mold remediation and removal, if you simply turn off all the relevant water valves in your home, before you go away!

Talk about ‘killing 2 proverbial birds with one stone’! So….. At bare minimum, before you go away on that ‘dream vacation’, arrange to have a ‘friend’ to perform an occasional walk-through of your home, just to ascertain that things remain as they should during your absence.

Now….. Ideally, it would benefit you immensely to:

  • actually have a water damage prevention plan in place in your home and;
  • peruse and oblige to as many of the water damage prevention tips listed in the checklist below.

Obviously, there are many more items not listed below however, that is your ‘job’, to customize a water damage prevention plan for your home!

Water Damage Prevention Checklist

  • Check Water Supply Lines on Household Appliances

    Some of the most common causes of residential water damage can be attributed to faulty household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers. Check all the relevant water supply lines to ensure that there are no breaks or leaks.

  • Check Plumbing

    Inspect all the pipes in your home, especially those located under the sink(s) for evidence of leaks, or not! If you find any leaks, no matter how small, call a plumber to quickly and efficiently rectify the problem, before you go! If there are no leaks, turn off any relevant water valves throughout the house such as those relevant to your sink(s), toilet(s) and bathtub(s).

  • Bonus Tip:

    Depending on the season, you may want to leave the cupboards open to encourage and maintain pipes at ambient temperature, thereby preventing possible freezing and bursting of the latter.  

  • Turn off the Main Water Supply Valve

    Alternatively, you can turn off the main water supply valve to your home, so as to discontinue the flow of any water through your pipes in your absence.

  • Note:

    It is imperative the every adult member of your household knows where the main water supply valve is located in your home, because water damage mishaps can occur at random, even with a ‘full house’. Should that ever happen, knowing where the main water supply valve is will make the difference all the difference in the magnitude of potential water damage to your home. 

  • Unplug electronic devices and household appliances

    In an effort to prevent a short in the electric circuit of your home, (should there be water intrusion in your absence), unplug electronic devices like computers, printers, televisions as well as household appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers. Do not unplug the refrigerator unless you decide to empty it out.

  • Extra perk:

    This action may potentially save you some money on your energy bill!

  • Fire Hazards

    Address any potential fire hazards, before you go! Don’t leave flammable items in your home, especially during the ‘peak of summer’, because if there should be a fire, your indoor sprinkler may become activated, thereby leading to water damage and subsequent mold infestation, both for which restoration does not come cheap!

  • Put the water heater in vacation mode

    When you put the water heater in vacation mode, the water inside the pipes is maintained at ambient temperature, thereby drastically minimizing the chance that the pipes might freeze and possibly burst.

  • Make sure the gutters are clean

    Clogged and/or damaged gutters and downspouts act as a potential gateway for water intrusion into your home, especially while you are away!

  • Inspect your windows

    Paying extra attention to any sky-windows, check the seals around your windows in your home. Caulk if necessary!

  • Roof Shingles

    Finally, be mindful of the fact that damaged roof shingles have the tendency to serve as a significant point of entry for water intrusion into your home. Therefore, if you spot any damage, arrange to have it repaired, before you go!

The Fact of the Matter

Don’t wait till just before you go! Implement a water damage prevention plan in your home for peace of mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week & 365 days a year….366 every leap year!

Bon voyage!