A Home Checklist When You’re Away123

Pipes, water heaters and other appliances can break and leak. In freezing weather, pipes can freeze and both plastic (PVC) and copper pipes can burst, causing major damage in a home left unattended.

Preventing Water Damage When Leaving Your Home Unattended

  • Close and lock all doors, windows, skylights and vents to keep out wind and wind-driven rain
  • In colder climates, don’t turn the thermostat off, instead leave it set to at least 55 degrees F.

If leaving for an extended period of time, the best protection is to shut the water off and drain water lines. In addition:

  • Shut off the gas to the water heater (or the gas company can do this for you), or turn the temperature control to a vacation setting
  • If your house has a water softener, shut off its supply line

If you choose to leave water service on, take the following precautions:

  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic and especially in a garage or basement next to an outside wall during the winter
  • Wrap heating tape or cables around water pipes to prevent pipes from freezing
  • Turn off the water supply to individual fixtures like your washing machine, icemaker, toilets and sinks
  • Consider installing an electronic leak detection system
  • Don’t leave appliances (dishwasher, washing machine or dryer) running when you leave, and check to make sure toilets aren’t running
  • Make sure the sump pump is working, especially in late winter or early spring when melting snow or heavy rain increases the risk of basement flooding

By following these items, you can avoid what can potentially amount to tens of thousands of dollars in damages to your property.  If damage should occur, we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days week.  Call our office or visit our site at https://www.wearemsi.com

About the author: Joe Fiorilli