things to do Before going on vacation
Things you should do before going on a trip
When going on a trip or a long vacation we usually think about everything, except our home. In order for you to fully enjoy your vacation, we will show you a few tips on how you can prevent coming home to a nightmare such as a flooded home.
There are a few things a home owner can do to prevent things such as a water damage due to a burst pipe and other things. Sometimes people don't think about these problems and are then fully surprised when they come home and their house is flooded with water.
All of the things and tips we show you are easily done, normally don't need any professional knowledge but can save you a lot of money in case of a plumbing emergency.
Turn off the water supply
The first and probably most important thing you should ALWAYS do when you leave your home for a short weekend trip or a long vacation is to turn off the main water supply of your home.
When a pipe bursts while you are not at home, hundreds of gallons of water will flow inside your home, flooding it completely. A burst pipe is always a plumbing emergency which should be addressed as fast as possible. Imagine you not being at home and hundreds of gallons flooding your home maybe for days until somebody notices it.
You can only imagine the huge damage this plumbing emergency can do to your home, not thinking about the "damage" it will do to your pocket.
The good thing is that this scenario can be easily prevented, by just turning off the main water line and you are good to go happily on vacation.
If you want to know more about why you should turn off the water when going on vacation or how to find the main water line valve, just - click here -. We have written a whole article on this topic, leaving no question unanswered.
Check the sum pump before leaving
Some people think about turning off the main water line supply before they go on vacation. But one thing that many home owners forget to check is the sum pump. A water damage can not only occur due to a burst pipe or a water leak, but also due to a malfunctioning sum pump.
The sum pump is a pump that is usually installed in the lowest part of the house, normally in the basement or the crawlspace. Its job is to keep the basement or crawlspace dry. For this reason a sum pump is usually installed inside a specially constructed sum pit. The sum pit is the part that gathers all the water either through drains or by natural water such as water migration through soil or also rainwater. As soon as the level inside the sum pit rises, the sum pump starts to pump out all the water.
When the sum pump does not work correctly, it can cause a flooded basement or crawlspace which you want to avoid, because cleaning and drying everything will cost a lot of money.
That's why we advise you to check your sum pump before going on vacation or some other trip. You can check the sum pump by dumping a bucket of water into the sum pit. Normally the sum pump should start right away and pump the water out. If the sum pump does not kick in, you should call a plumber who can find out why it is not functioning as it should.
In case of a heavy storm you risk a flooded basement if you don't check your sum pump. To be even more sure, you can use a sum pump with a battery back up. When a storm knocks out the electricity, which happens often, the sum pump will not be affected because of the battery back up and will make sure that your basement stays dry.
Drain your pipes During winter time
When you decide to go on vacation during the winter time, you should consider draining your pipes to avoid a pipe burst. If you don't do that and only turn off the main water line, there will still be water inside your pipes. When you go on vacation while it starts to freeze in your city, the water inside your pipes can start to freeze which makes the water expand. This expansion can cause your pipes to split or burst.
Some people choose to leave the heat on to prevent the pipes from freezing. But you have to take into consideration that a storm, tree or branch weighed down with snow can fall down and knock out the power lines. This will knock out the heat inside your home as well which means your pipes are at risk to the freezing temperatures.
You can drain your pipes like this:
1. First turn off the main water line supply.
2. Now turn on all the fixtures in your house and flush all the toilets until there is no water coming out anymore. This helps you to get out most of the water that is already inside your pipes.
3. During extreme cold weather it is advisable to leave your faucets dripping to prevent the pipes from bursting when the pressure inside them gets too high. Of course this means that you will waste a lot of water. In case you don't feel comfortable with that, an alternative is to leave the main water line valve closed and open all the faucets. This releases excessive pressure and decreases the risk of a burst pipe.
Make sure your house is tended to
There are several reasons why it is advisable to have someone, for example a friend or a neighbor, check on your home regularly while you are away. Some of the reasons we will show you are things you probably haven't taken into consideration.
Plumbing Emergencies are addressed fast
Plumbing Emergencies just like any other emergencies love to take place while there is no one around. Don't ask us why, but that's something we could notice during our years working as plumbers.
When there is someone checking on your home regularly and there is suddenly a plumbing emergency, he or she can address the problem immediately and call a plumber near your home to prevent further damages.
Plumbing emergencies, for example a broken pipe, can destroy your entire home. Just imagine you being away on a three-week vacation, a pipe starts to burst in your home and during these three weeks nobody is there to notice it. I don't know about you, but just the thought of it gives me chills. To make sure that this doesn't happen to you, ask a friend or neighbor you trust if they can check on your home regularly.
less Risk of Burglary
Burglars often look for houses that are not tended to, especially during vacation time. If they see that there is someone checking on your home ( best if they always choose a different time to do it), it is less likely for them to burglarize your home. Of course there are also different options to protect your home against burglars, but physical presence is always a good way to start with.
less Risk of voided insurance policies
This is one of the most important reasons why you should ask someone to take care of your home while you are not around. Unfortunately, this is something many homeowners are not aware of, so keep reading carefully.
Another important reason why you should ask someone to check on your home are residential insurance policies. In case of an emergency, for example a huge water damage due to a burst pipe, you need to get in touch with your insurance company. Most residential insurance policies work under the premise that your home is tended to on a daily basis.
When they notice that there wasn't someone tending to your home daily, it is very likely that the insurance policy will be voided which means you are left alone with all the costs. And believe us, water damages can be very cost intensive.
If you want to avoid massive costs due to a plumbing emergency while you are not around, ask someone to check on your home regularly and you can enjoy your time at the beach.