How To Prevent Contaminated Water Damage in Your Home While You're Away
It's important to take time away from home to relax. Vacation allows you to spend time with your family away from the cares of your everyday life. Whether your family prefers a trip to the beach or a mountain getaway, the last thing you want is to come back to your home in White Bear Lake, MN, to a huge mess caused by contaminated water.
5 Strategies for Preventing Black Water Damage During Vacation
Before your trip, you probably focus on details such as making sure you have reservations at your destination and getting everything packed efficiently. Don't forget your home maintenance checklist, though. It can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
1. Check for Leaks
Even clean water can cause extensive problems, especially if they go undetected for weeks. Before you leave for vacation, look for leaks in all the places they are typically found:
- Damaged supply line
- Loose or bent pipe
- Cracked toilet tank
- Leaky appliance hose
Call a local plumber to fix any problems with the hardware. Then contact a trusted water restoration company to assess and repair any water damage.
2. Insulate Pipes
If you are traveling during colder months, you may set your thermostat lower to save on energy costs. One possible drawback of this decision is that it makes your pipes more likely to freeze and break. You can still lower your heater, but make sure that you keep it running and that the warm air can reach all the pipes in your home. Additionally, insulate the pipes that are located along exterior walls.
3. Clean Gutters
Another way that contaminated water can enter your home when you're not there is from buildup along your roof and at the base of the house. This can happen when your gutters or downspouts are clogged with leaves, dirt and other debris. Make sure they are clear and that the spouts are positioned to direct runoff away from the foundation.
4. Test Sump Pump
Groundwater and sewer backup can easily flood your basement while you're away. A working sump pump is a solution for getting most of the black water out of your home so that it does as little damage as possible. Test it by filling up the basin and listening to the motor as it works.
It's also smart to have a backup energy source so that it can function even if the power goes out.
5. Turn Off Water Main
Ideally, you have people who can check on your home while you are on vacation. They can keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious and call the right professionals to take care of it. If you don't know anyone who can help out, consider turning off your water main before you leave. That way, even if a pipe bursts, there's no water supply to cause a catastrophe.
Getting ready to go on a family trip involves more than just packing your suitcases and booking flights. You also need to make sure your home is not in danger of a flood from contaminated water or plumbing issues. Follow this checklist to ensure that your absence doesn't leave your home in potential peril.