It’s every Vancouver homeowner’s nightmare to come home after an amazing vacation to find that their home has been progressively destroyed by preventable water damage the entire time while they have been away. Even a small leak can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages. As you know, heavy rainfall is common place here in Vancouver, so a water tight roof is very important. Water damage is one of the top reasons for a home insurance claim. A small leak can turn into a very large insurance claim when the home is left unattended to for an extended period of time, such as a vacation. Most sources of water damage can be prevented by checking a number of things before leaving your home for vacation.
Here are some tips to ensure that you have peace of mind on your home while you’re away enjoying your holidays and that you come back to find your home in perfect condition just as you had left it, so that you don’t have to call in a home restoration company:
- Check around the house for any existing leaks and have them repaired immediately. Places to check may include your roof, sinks, hose faucets, bath tubs, showers and piping. Look for signs of moisture where there should not be any.
- Potentially shut off the water main to your home. If you prefer not to do that, consider turning off the water valves to all the sinks, toilets and baths in your home. Be sure to check the valves for leaks after you turn them off, as adjusting the valves can trigger leaking.
- If your property has a well, you may want to shut the pump of.
- Be sure that your gutters and downspouts are completely clear of any debris or blockages to ensure that rainfall can drain off of your home properly.
- If you plan on being away during colder times in Vancouver, ensure that your home’s heating system is working properly. It is important to winterize and your exterior hose valves and drain the pipes to prevent your pipes from bursting. A pipe bursting that goes unattended can cause major damage to a home.
- Have a friend or family member check on the house occasionally to make sure there are no leaks. Brief this person on how to shut off the water main and other water valves just in case there is any trouble.
In the unfortunate case that water damage has occurred while people have been away on vacation, it is important to check for mold growth if areas have been exposed to moisture in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Areas that are more susceptible to mold growth include dry wall, furniture, any belongings made out of organic material like cloth, paper, wood, etc. If the source of water is from an outside source like a sewer or rain water, the water could contain mold, chemicals, bacteria and viruses. Find the source of water and act appropriately.