Prevent Water Damage: How to Secure Your Home from Water While You are Away

May 22, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Anyone can be a victim of water damage. Contrary to the popular belief, water damage does not only happen when there is extreme weather like hurricanes, flooding, or snowstorm. Water damage can also happen at any time as a result of the leaks in the piping system of the house or the household appliances. Consequently, water damage can be hard to detect as it can develop gradually and silently without your knowledge. 

That is why precautionary measures against water damage are important for you to know to prevent water damage in your house. As the popular saying goes: “Prevention is better than cure.” 

As you know, water damage comes with devastating consequences, as it can weaken the structural foundation of your house, destroy your household belongings, or even endanger the health of you and your family.  Rather than spending your precious income on repairing the damage brought by possible water damage in your house, it is better to protect yourself now from water damage by taking note of these important tips. 

But before anything else, what is water damage? 

Water Damage

For starters, there are three kinds of water damage depending on the type of water involved.

The first kind involves water damage due to clean water. This kind is the easiest to handle since the water involved is not contaminated. In tackling this, you just have to quickly look for the source of the water leak. Upon finding it, you must immediately repair the source of the leak and remove the flooded water at once. Also, don’t forget to dry the affected areas in your home to avoid any accidents or the growth of mold. 

The second kind involves gray water which is much more dangerous than the first one since gray water contains contaminated water which may pose health hazards upon exposure. As such, be careful in not getting into contact with this kind of water and get rid of them immediately from your house. 

The third kind is the most severe case of water damage as it involves black water. Blackwater is extremely toxic as it usually contains: chemicals, pesticides, sewage water, and other highly contaminated sources. It is not only exceptionally unsanitary, but it is very dangerous to the health of you and your family as it might cause: infections, respiratory-related diseases, and other complications. That is why it is advisable for you to seek professional help if you encounter this kind of water damage in your house. 

Take note that just because water appears to be clean does not automatically mean that it is not contaminated since bacteria and chemicals are usually invincible to the human eye. That is why it is quite difficult for anyone to tell if the water damage is from clean water, gray water, or black water. Knowing where the water came from in the first place is a good way to categorize the water damage in your home. You can also seek professional assistance if you want to be extra careful. 

Tips and Tricks: Protect your home from water damage even if you are away. 

The thought of water damage destroying your home can be so overwhelming. But, you can take control of this situation by taking precautionary measures to avoid water damage in the first place. These tips are simple and easy to follow and you can easily do them on your own.  

Here are some tips that can help you protect your home from water damage even if you are away and outside of your house: 

1. Do regular inspections in your house 

Inspecting your house for any leaks is a good way of avoiding water damage. Specifically focus on your household appliances that use water like washing machines, air-conditioning systems, and refrigerators as they are prone to water leaks. Also, check the piping and plumbing system around your house for any cracks or signs of damage. Immediately repair or replace them to prevent further deterioration that can result in a water leak. 

It is also advisable to ask for professional help who can perform regular check-ups and repairs for greater peace of mind. Although this might come as an added expense in your budget, you can see this as part of house maintenance which is crucial in conserving the value of your house. 

2. Find the Location of your Main Water Shut-Off in your Home 

Knowing the location of the main water shut-off in your house is extremely useful in cases where you need to stop the flow of water immediately in your house. This way you can easily stop the water flow during emergency situations, specifically when there is a leak or burst pipe in your house.

3. Use your Household Appliances only when you are at home 

Do not leave your household appliances unattended. Since household appliances like any other technological gadgets no matter how advanced they are can still fail at any time. Electronic appliances specifically: dishwashers, air conditioning systems, and washing machines can leak unexpectedly at any time and cause water damage in your house. 

Imagine leaving them on and running while you go out of your house and a leak suddenly occurs — then you will come back with your house flooded and your belongings destroyed. This is the scenario that we are trying to avoid as much as possible. That is why it is advisable that you only use household appliances specifically those which utilize water while you are in your house as you can easily fix the problem just in case there is a leak. In addition to this, you can also save energy and lower your electricity bill by turning off your appliances while you are away. 

4.  It is advisable to shut off the water if you are going to be away from your house for a long period of time.

If you are going away from your house for a vacation, business meeting, or other out-of-town business. You can consider turning off the main water valve before leaving. This is a precautionary measure just in case something went wrong while you are away. By shutting off the main source of water in your house, you can rest assured that there would be no occasion for any water leaks, even though there is sudden damage to your pipe or an extreme weather condition that might result in burst pipes. 

Don’t forget to ask for help or get advice from a professional in the field before shutting off the main water valve. In case it is not possible to turn off the main source of water, then you can opt to turn off the individual water valves of the major household appliances in order to avoid any leaks which might become a source of water damage in your home. 

5. Install Water Leak Detection Sensors

Installing leak detection sensors is a quick and convenient way of discovering any water leaks in your house. In this way, you can easily get to the source of the water leak and avoid water damage early on. Currently, there are a lot of varieties of leak detection sensors that you can choose, ranging from basic leak detectors which you can install by yourself to more advanced ones which require professional help in their installation. Nowadays, there are also smart leak detectors that can notify you through your smartphone if there is any leak in your house. Moreover, there are also water leak detectors that are equipped with a feature that can automatically close the main water valve of your house during water leaks. 

6. Clean your gutter and get rid of any debris

The gutters outside of the house are usually neglected by a lot of homeowners which can lead to overflowing gutters. Overflowing gutters are caused by accumulated dirt and debris stuck in the gutter. This can result in water going into the interior walls of the house which can gradually damage the structural integrity of your house and even promote mold growth which poses significant health risks. 

Consequently, cleaning the gutter from time to time in order to prevent the accumulation of dirt which can interfere with the proper drainage of water in your house is advisable. By doing so, you can ensure that in case of heavy rain, rainwater can flow seamlessly into the drainage and not into the walls of your house. 

7. Keep the house warm during winter and provide extra insulation 

If you are living in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions especially during the winter season, it is really important to ensure that your house is warm enough to avoid burst pipes. You can also consider insulating water pipes around your home as a precautionary measure. 

Extreme low temperature can put the water pipes inside your house under so much pressure that they can suddenly burst at any moment. When it does, it can cause significant water leaks which can damage your home furniture and other important belongings in your house. That is why it is advisable that you keep the heat in your house in order to prevent the pipes from freezing. Setting the temperature above 50°F or higher as needed can help in warming the water piping. 

Moreover, adding extra insulation in your house specifically in the basement or the attic is recommended to avoid burst pipes. You can do this by covering the pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves in order to keep them warm enough to avoid freezing. 

Safety Checklist against Water Damage 

If you are going on a vacation or if you are scheduled to attend a business engagement in another town for a long period of time, then make sure to take note of these checklists before heading out. By following these tips, you can give yourself peace of mind that your house would be secure from water damage even though you are away. These safety measures are easy enough to follow that you can do it by yourself quickly. 

Here are some things that you can do before leaving the house in order to avoid water damage in your home: 

  • Set the temperature in your thermostat properly. Especially during the winter season, ensure that your home is warm enough to prevent any burst pipes which can flood your home. 
  • Consider installing smart water leak detectors in your house. This device can send notifications to your smartphone if it detects any water leaks in your house. This way you can immediately ask the help of your neighbor or friend to shut off the water source or to repair the water leak in order to prevent serious water damage in your house. 
  • If you leave the house for a long time, it is advisable that you turn off the main water valve in your house or you can also opt to turn off the individual valves in your appliances that utilize water like your: washing machine. 
  • Don’t forget to turn off your household appliances before leaving, specifically your: washing machine, air-conditioning system, and refrigerators as they are prone to water leaks. 

Home Insurance For Extra Protection

However, no matter how much precautions we take to safeguard our homes from water damage, sometimes accidents and serious calamities can happen which we will have no control of. With this in mind, getting reliable home insurance is a solution to minimize our worries and provide extra protection for our home. Home Insurance protects you from financial losses when disaster or accident strikes in your home. Since it can provide compensation in case of damages in your house, destruction of your personal and household items, and other unexpected losses. 

With different home insurance options available in the market.
Advantage Insurance Solutions can provide you with the best home insurance that is customizable to the needs of your family with our wide array of affordable insurance options.  Contact us today and let us help you protect the house of your dreams. 

In Conclusion 

Water damage can create so many problems in your house. Not only will it lessen the value of your property but it can destroy your hard-earned belongings and prized possessions in just a short period of time. Worse, it can even endanger the life of your family since water damage also poses significant health risks. Therefore, taking the time to secure your home and adopting a proactive attitude is important in avoiding water damage. Performing preventive measures against water damage as stated above will not only save you time and money, but it can secure the lives of you and your family as well. These safety tips are simple enough that you can do it by yourself from time to time. The most important thing is that you do them consistently, especially if you are planning to leave your home for a long period of time.