There are millions of vacation homes located all across North America. They include everything from million dollar beach homes and condos to homes in the mountains and fishing cabins.
While these properties provide much needed relaxation and a chance to get away for their owners, they can also turn into a costly nightmare if water damage occurs while people are away. Many vacation homes are vacant for months at a time and a small water leak can turn into a major event. In fact, water damage is one of the most common reasons for a property insurance claim.
In addition to direct damage due to water, mold can begin to grow in less than 48 hours on many building materials, furnishing and household belongs when moisture is introduced. Elevated levels of mold can cause a wide range of indoor air quality issues and health concerns while impacting the value of the property.
Fortunately, many potential sources of water damage can be averted by checking and preparing the vacation home before leaving it. For example, before leaving:
• Check the home’s interior and exterior for any signs of leaks and consider turning the water heater off or to vacation mode.
• Consider shutting off the water main to the home. If this cannot be done because of an automatic sprinkler system or other reason, shut off the valves to major appliances within the property.
• If the property has a well, consider shutting the pump off.
• Check gutters and downspouts for damage and any debris that may be causing obstructions.
• If the property has a sump pump, be sure it is in working order.
• During freezing weather, be sure the heating system is operating properly and that any exposed pipes are insulated. It is also a good idea to drain pipes if the water has been shut off by running water faucets and flushing toilets.
• Ask a trusted neighbor to periodically check on the property and be sure they know where the water main shut off valve is located.
Even if there is not a water incursion, high humidity levels from the environment in a closed up vacation home can lead to possible mold growth and musty odors. Reducing humidity levels through the use of air conditioning during the humid months is one option, but be sure its drain lines are not clogged.
These are just a few things to know about ways to prevent water damage to a vacation home while people are away. To learn more about this or other property damage, indoor air quality, health and safety, occupational or environmental issues, please visit the websites shown below.
Clark Seif Clark http://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. http://www.emsl.com
Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. http://www.iecinc.net
LA Testing http://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental http://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine http://www.iaq.net
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters http://HudsonDouglasPublicAdjusters.com