Water damage can occur at any time because no one can expect such an accident. But, the worse time for it to occur is when you are away because you are not there to prevent it and of course, the last thing you want when you return from your holiday is to find water damage. Common causes of water damage are ruptured washer hoses, frozen pipes, dripping water heaters and leaking supply lines. Luckily, there are a few ways you can protect your home from water damage while you are away. Here is how to do it.
Shut off the water at the main valve
Before you leave your house, you should turn off the main water valve to prevent water damage. This way, you will disable the water entering your house. If you have never turned off the main valve before and you are not sure whether you have succeeded, after you turn it off, make sure to test it by checking if the water is running on a faucet. Most household water meters have two valves:
- One on the street side of the metre
- One on the house side
The main valve in colder areas is usually installed in basements, while in warmer areas they are outside your home. Just make sure everyone in the house knows where your water meter is located in case of an emergency.
Shut off the valves to all major appliances
If you don’t want to turn off the main valve because you have pet someone will take care of while you are away for example, then you should consider shutting off the valves to all major appliances including washing machine, dishwasher, toilets, sinks and other. Just turn the valve clockwise to shut off the flow of water.
Don’t forget to clean your gutters
Before you leave for a vacation, look for leaves, debris and sticks that can clog up the gutters and flood. Clean your gutters. Make sure all downspouts discharge about 10 feet from the home. If necessary add an extension to ensure that the water will be discharged far enough from the foundation to avoid expensive home repairs.
Be extra careful during winter
If you live in a place with cold winters and freezing temperatures, then you should take more precautions before you go away for a while. Your home should have frost-proof faucets. If you don’t have ones, make sure you install them. Hire skilled plumbing services in London to install needed fixtures. Even after you do that, you should still shut off your main water just to be sure.
Additional tip: Don’t leave a hose connected to an outdoor faucet because the water trapped inside the faucet will freeze, which can crack open the faucet.
Let someone know you are away
Even after you take all these measures to prevent water damage, it is a good idea to let your family member or your neighbour know that you will be away. You should let them know how to contact you in case of an emergency.