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Preventing Water Damage While On Winter Vacation

The second most common homeowners insurance claim across the United States is water damage, usually from leaking pipes or appliances, as well as damage caused by storms. Water damage also occurs quite often when folks are on vacation, since any problem that crops up may be left undetected for a matter of days or even weeks. Before leaving for your annual getaway, take time to prep your home so you do not come home to an unwelcome problem.

Check for leaks before you leave, especially under sinks and around the water heater. Make sure window seals are in good shape, and that there are no damaged roof shingles. Repair, recaulk, and replace as needed.

Check the hoses that attach to major appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. Make sure there are no kinks or old, damaged hoses.

Inspect rain gutters and get everything resembling an obstruction out of the way. Install screens over the gutters to keep out debris and direct downspouts away from the home.

If you have a sump pump, then perform service and maintenance on it to make sure it will perform as required if needed.  This can prevent your basement from becoming flooded.

If you have exposed pipes, insulate them to prevent them from freezing. Remove hoses from outdoor spigots and cover them with bib protectors. Leave the heat on low to prevent pipes from freezing up.

Recruit someone to check on your home while you are gone. Show them where the thermostat is so they can make sure the heat remains on during winter months, as well as the water main just in case a pipe bursts.

If there is no one to keep an eye on your home, then shut off the water while you are gone, and drain the pipes to keep them from bursting during freezing weather. Open cupboards under sinks to allow warm air to circulate.

Call a water damage restoration professional to handle any problems that may occur during your absence.

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