Whether you are traveling to be with family for the holidays or just needing a change of view, you will need to prepare for your absence. Your home is vulnerable to water damage when you leave. Obviously, water will usually not sit on a hardwood floor long enough to cause damage when you walk through each room everyday. However, when water sits for several days or more, your floors can discolor, weaken, or develop mold.
If water pools around nails, oxidation and discoloration can form. Time plus water can permanently stain and require restoration from a professional team like Rumsey Construction. Take care before you travel:
Closing the valve on the main water supply line cuts off water to your home. This will help to prevent floods or major pipe leaks. When returning home, turn the water back on at the valve first to allow any rust or sediment to wash out of the lines before you turn off the taps.
If you have someone checking in on your home from time to time, while you are away, you may not want to restrict ALL water supply. If this is the case, just shut off select supply lines to limit the risk of leaks.
If no one is going to be home when you’re away, don’t waste energy heating the home in your absence, but don’t shut off your heat completely. Setting the thermostat to around 55°F. will reduce your energy costs, but it will stay warm enough to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Lowering the humidity settings will help to reduce the risk of condensation issues.
Take advantage of your surge protectors. Plug all expensive electronics into an added safely layer: televisions, computers, stereos, and other electronics. When you prepare to travel, you can simply flip the switch to power them off at the surge protector.
However, don;t kill all the electricity at the breaker box. You need the electric to continue to power important things throughout the home like the sump pump, security system, and refrigerator. Plus, have a few lights on a timer to create the impression that someone is home.
If your sump pump fails while you’re gone and a major storm hits, you could return to a flooded basement. So make sure the sump pump is working before you leave town. Dump a bucket of water in the sump pump hole. The pump should turn on when the pit fills with water.
Check for gravel or other debris that could clog the system. Consider an emergency power source for the pump. Murphy’s Law declares that the power will go out when you are out of town and need the pump at 100%.
You should set aside some time to make a lap around the outside of your home to complete any minor maintenance tasks that can go a long way in preventing water damage in your absence. Clean your gutters, downspout extensions, and any drains to the street.
Now check every water connection: washing machine, under sinks, hot water heater, toilets, refrigerators with icemakers. If you find any leaks, or signs of water damage, get the professions out to inspect BEFORE you make travel plans. Fix small problems before they become big, expensive problems.
Rumsey Construction is a full service construction and restoration company in Columbia with extensive experience to handle your water problems. Rumsey Construction and Restoration can respond to all types of disaster: fire damage, smoke damage restoration, water restoration, and storm damage.