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How to Protect Your Home from Water Damage While You’re Away

Water damage inside a home

There is nothing worse than coming back from your vacation and discovering that your home has been flooded because you forgot to prepare your property before your trip. It is always important to take the proper precautions to prevent water damage in your home while you are away.

Whether you decide to go on vacation for a weekend or decide to go away for the summer months, it is important to prepare your home beforehand. Here are some useful tips that will help keep your home well protected from water damage while you are out of town.

Check your home thoroughly before leaving for vacation

Make sure to check your property before leaving for vacation so that you can prevent leaks and overall water damage. Check under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and examine the water heater to see if it has rusted or cracked. Make sure your windows and doors have been sealed and your roof is in good condition so that you are not at risk of leaks. Check hoses connected to your dishwasher and fridge and ensure that they are not leaking or in bad condition.

Add antifreeze to toilet bowl

Pour some marine antifreeze into your toilet bowl to prevent freezing of the water that can cause expanding and cracking of the porcelain.

The main water valve should be shut off

Before you leave for your trip, you should always shut off the main water valve. This valve controls all the water coming into your home. All family members should know where this valve is just in case there is an emergency.

Insulate any pipes that are exposed

Pipes are one of the most common sources of water damage in a home. This is especially true if you have a basement or crawlspace with exposed pipes or if your pipes are outside. Make sure to fully insulate any pipes that are exposed to the elements. You can purchase proper insulation for the pipes at a local hardware store.

Your supply line should be checked

Make sure to check what your supply line including the materials of the piping. For example, plastic ones can break easily while you are on vacation and therefore are not dependable. You should make sure to upgrade to stainless steel to keep your home safe from flooding.

Check your appliances and fixtures

You should check all your major appliances that use water before leaving for vacation. This includes your fridge, dishwasher, HVAC system, washing machine, water heater, shower, and toilet. Leaks are most likely to happen with these appliances. A very big hint of any problems would be any unusual noises or malfunctions when you use them. Make sure you fix any issues before you leave for your trip.

Check your doors and windows

If there is a large storm while you are away, you may get leaks through your windows and doors if they are not well sealed. You should check the seals around your doors and windows to see if they are still in good condition before leaving for vacation. Make sure you have them fixed if needed before you head out.

Check window to see if it is sealed to prevent leak

Clean your gutters

Your gutters can cause major issues if they are not cleaned. If you are unable to handle this yourself, there are professional gutter cleaning services that can be hired to do this work for you. Finally, downspouts should be about 10 feet from your home to avoid water damage or flooding around your foundation.

Make sure your sump pump is working properly

A sump pump that is functioning as intended will keep water out of your home during wet outside conditions. You should test it before you leave for vacation to make sure it is working properly and avoid flooding in your home while you are away.

Your HVAC system should run even when you are on vacation

It is important to leave your HVAC system running while you are on vacation. This is especially important during wintertime as it will help the air circulate and prevent condensation which can cause water damage or mold. It also prevents your pipes from freezing and bursting which can flood your home if no one is there to stop it.

Get a Smart Leak Detector

Research the plumbing devices that are currently on the market that will help you prevent flooding in your home. These devices are activated by moisture and send an alert via text or email when they detect moisture levels above a certain threshold level. Some models also come with alarms that sound if they detect water on their own or if there is an issue with the water supply coming into your home (such as a main break). Other smart leak detectors have built-in cameras that allow users to see what’s happening inside their home remotely using their smartphone or tablet device. They can sense and shut off leaks in an emergency.

Get a house sitter

It is always best to have a neighbor or a friend watch your home while you are away. They will be able to check for water damage and keep your home secure overall.

Even if you follow all of these water damage prevention tips, you may still experience water damage in your home. This is why it is important to check if your homeowner’s insurance covers water damage. You should always check your policy and add additional coverage for water damage not currently covered by your policy, like flooding.


If you do experience water damage at your home, it is important to react right away and call ServiceMaster by Replacements at (732) 842-6917. Whether the water damage in your home was caused by a flood, sewage backup, or a leak, our highly trained technicians can help. We have the proper equipment as well as the experience to handle any type of water damage emergency. You can be sure that our water damage restoration services will be done quickly and efficiently. Talk to our professionals right away if your home or business is affected by water damage or flooding.