This season seems to be unusually cold for the San Diego area. Can you believe that San Diego has recently had lower temperatures than cold-climate cities like Chicago?
Chilly weather doesn’t put a stop to the holidays, though. Many of us still leave town to see relatives and visit with family members that we haven’t seen all year.
One of the trends we noticed during this past holiday season was the discovery of flood damage as homeowners return from their long trips to visit family. These are not minor cases of water damage, either; imagine coming home after an exhausting trip to find 2 inches of standing water not just in your yard, but your entire house!
Unfortunately, this situation happen more often than not, and flood damage can cost a fortunate to clean up. Therefore, if you intend on leaving your house for an extended period of time, here are a couple of things we recommend doing before you leave on your much needed vacation:
- Shut off the Water
Shutting off your water supply may also be one of the single most important things you do right before you leave, aside from locking the door. If you’re not sure where the shutoff valve is, look for your water meter – the main shutoff will be located nearby. Many water meter setups have two valves: one on the street side of the meter and one on the house side. If you live in a colder climate, you’ll typically find the main shutoff in the basement near the front of the house. In warmer climates, it will be outside your home attached to an exterior wall, or in an underground box with a removable lid. Shutting off the water supply to your home can prevent a disaster, especially if a supply line or a pipe were to burst as water will not be continuously pumping through the pipes and lines, endlessly flooding your home until either someone shuts the water off, or you get home.
- Turn off Individual Shutoff Valves
This option may sound just like the last, but actually it completely different. If you take a look behind your toilet or under your sink you will see individual shutoff valves. Those will need to be shut off as well, because although you may have shut off the main supply, there is still water in the lines that can cause flood damage if it were to escape through a burst or ruptured pipe.
- Check Your Water Supply Lines
As they age, the rubber or plastic supply lines that lead from shutoff valves to appliances, faucets and toilets may become brittle, start to leak, or even break. Since you’re messing with your shutoff valves anyway, take a moment to inspect the supply lines too. If you find any leaks, cracks, bulges, or signs of corrosion, replace the lines before you leave town. Your best choice is line encased in a braided stainless steel sheath.
- Test Your Sump Pump
Before going on a vacation, test your sump pump by filling the sump pit with water and making sure the pump is actually pumping out the water. Sump pump systems help keep groundwater out of your basement, so it’s extremely important that they are in working order, especially while you’re away.
Recently we had several customers that experienced the scenario described above; below are a few pictures of flood damage some of our homeowners came home to after the holidays:
Here are one of the reviews they sent us about our knowledgeable Project Managers:
“I would like to say that we are currently going through a rough time with a flood in our home and in the middle of the holiday, we had to remove all the furniture in the living room, the kitchen and the family room.
I was heartbroken as I knew that we would not be able to have Christmas at home for our daughters, but Frank made this process so much simpler for us. [He] walked us through the entire process, always called me to inform me of what is going on, and always kept his word. [Frank is an] AWESOME AWESOME person to work with. I would truly recommend this company. From the packing company, the plumbers, cabinet person, etc…. so far things are going smooth with this process.
The Mendoza/ Lopez Family”