It’s a great privilege to own a home. However, home ownership comes with significant responsibility. You can be very responsible with your home. Nonetheless, damages may still happen when you least expect it. Water damage during a vacation is the worst thing that can happen to your property since you can’t deal with it promptly.
Flooding from burst pipes or sewage blockages can result in the compromise of your home structure and the dwindling of its value. To protect your property from water damage while away from home, just shut off your water main.
When Do You Shut Off Your Water?
It would be best if you turn your water off before heading off on vacation or even for an overnight trip. When you make arrangements for someone to watch your pets and homes while traveling, add a reminder to shut off your water main.
A leak in your water heater or a burst pipe can cause extensive damage while you’re on vacation. There’s no best season when it’s ideal to shut off the water. Hence, it would help if you always turn off the water, even for short trips.
During Summer Vacations
Shut off the water when you leave, even if you’re only going on a weekend getaway. With no pressure constantly applied to pipes, chances are small for a small leak to get bigger or burst, reducing the risk of flooding in your home.
During Winter Vacation
Plumbing problems occur in any weather; thus, you should remain vigilant and take precautions. Falling temperatures play havoc with your water pipes, freezing them and causing them to burst. During the winter, late fall, and early spring, the water can freeze in the pipes and expand. When the frozen water expands inside the lines, it can split or burst.
Before Leaving on Vacation
A few weeks before you head on your vacation, remember to check all faucets, water lines, and visible pipes for leaks or damage. If you locate any loose fittings, tighten them and verify that all drains are in working order. If you can’t fix the problem, you will have enough time to call a professional plumber to inspect and repair the leak.
Any time of the year, the effects of any small leak in your plumbing system are minimized when you’re home but multiplied when you’re away.
Since water always runs under pressure in the pipes, then it doesn’t take long for a minor issue to turn into a considerable one if left unchecked.
When you’re away from home, draining your water pipes prevents water pipes from freezing, causing damage to the lines and potentially your entire house.
Reasons to Shut Off Your Water
1. Extensive Damage
Water damage can devastate a home. Some of the causes are frozen pipes, leaking equipment lines, dripping water heaters, or washing machines. The best way to protect your home from significant damage is to turn off the water before you go on vacation.
2. Major Expenses
Many people insure their homes against unexpected damage or theft. However, even with full insurance, it’s highly likely that you will pay an out-of-pocket portion. Moreover, you might have to wait for weeks or months for the insurance company to tend to the problem or send you the money required for repairs.
3. Disruption and Inconvenience
Based on the extent of the water damage to your primary residence, you may have to rent another property to reside in till the repairs are complete.
Furthermore, you might suffer emotional distress due to the damage of sentimental possessions like family inheritances, memorabilia, and photos. It’s an awful feeling that no one wants to go through.
When it comes time for an extended vacation, you can save time, money, distress, and inconvenience if you turn off your water before leaving.
Make Sure Your Homeowners Insurance Is Adequate
It’s essential to have adequate homeowners insurance to protect you in the event of flood damage. To ensure sufficient coverage in the case of emergency water damage, read all the insurance terms and conditions carefully before a disaster strikes.
Some insurance companies might void your policy if you did not shut off your water supply when you left your home for more than a specified duration. Residential insurance companies assume that someone tends to your home daily. However, if no one is present to maintain the house, they may have the right to void the policy.
Therefore, you must read your policy’s fine print to determined what to do in these situations and act accordingly. You do not want to incur all the costs yourself due to water damage.
Shutting the Water Off to Your House
The most important part of shutting off your water is remembering to do so. You may decide to set a reminder on your smartphone to shut it off. To do so, you need to locate your home’s main water supply valve. Most homeowners know where to find the valve in case of an emergency.
Most valves have a lever handle or a wheel control to open and close. Turn off the water by turning the wheel clockwise or the lever handle to the closed position.
If you recently moved into your property or are not familiar with the water valve location, here are a few places. You might find it located near the curb or where the pipe connects to the water meter before entering your house. Other areas are inside the garage, in the basement, or in the crawl space.
Ideally, if you find the valve’s location a few days before you head on vacation, you can test the shutoff mechanism to ensure that the water stops flowing to your house.
Now, you are all set to leave on vacation after turning off your valve with peace of mind that if a water pipe bursts or leaks, the damage will be minimal from the water already in the lines.
You might decide to contact your local plumber to inspect the system ahead of your scheduled vacation so you can enjoy your time. You may also follow these easy steps:
- Drain water from the pipes during winter months – to prevent water freezing and burst pipes
- Inspect the lines to all appliances and repair the damaged ones
- Check your gutters for a buildup of debris or leaves
How to Protect Your Home When Away
Many circumstances can cause you to be away from your home for long periods. Emergency trips, work assignments, or family illnesses may cause you to leave your place in a hurry. To ensure minimal damage to your home by a broken pipe or leaking drain, you can contact plumbing professionals.
If you’re concerned about your plumbing before heading off on vacation, contact We Care today for more information. Our expert plumbers are standing by to help you whenever you need us.