It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: arriving home from a relaxing, wonderful vacation only to find that your house has been flooded with water, damaging everything it touches. The second most common homeowners insurance claim across the United States is water damage, usually coming from leaking pipes or appliances while the homeowner is away, especially on vacation. Floods, leaks, or any other water-related problem can go undetected for a matter of days or possibly even weeks if no one is home, potentially resulting in thousands of dollars of damage to your hardwood floor or carpet.

Of course, this can all be avoided if the proper steps are taken before and during your vacation. Here are 6 steps to water damage prevention while on vacation, just in time for spring break!

Step 1: Check The House
Check every inch of your home for any sign of leaks. Make sure to look at all pipes underneath sinks in both the kitchen and bathroom. Look closely at the water heater for any cracks and/or rust. If you can, get on top of the roof and look for any damaged or dislodged shingles, making sure to fix them appropriately if they are damaged.

Step 2: Examine All Hoses
Examine all hose that are connected to any major appliances, such as the washing machine, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Look for anything out of the ordinary to ensure they are functioning properly.

Step 3: Remove Blockages
Remove any and all blockages from rain gutters and downspouts. If your house has a sump pump, check to see that it is working properly by listening to the motor and checking to see that the water is going outside.

Step 4: Insulate
Insulate any exposed pipes to ensure that they do not freeze during the winter. Of course, in San Diego this is less of a problem, but there are a few nights that we drop below freezing! If the weather is particularly cold or continuously dropping below freezing, you may want to leave the heater on low while away.

Step 5: Ask A Friend 
One of the most effective ways to ensure water damage prevention while on vacation: ask a close friend or family member to check on the house periodically while you are away. They should know where the water main is located, in case of any floods, or pipe leaks.

Step 6: Turn Off Main Water Valve 
If no one is available to check on the house, turn off the main water valve during the trip. Drain pipes by continuously running the water until and it runs out and flushing the toilets after you’ve shut off the water. Doing this will eliminate the chances of a pipe leak or burst that could flood your home.

At Certified Restoration, we deal with these unfortunate problems all the time. Water damage clean up is our job and it’s our priority to find a quick solution and get your family back in the house safely and quickly after flood damage. We want you to enjoy your vacation and come home to a untouched house, but when that doesn’t happen, we’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.