Protecting A Vacant Home From Water Damage? Smart Advice For Property Owners

An unexpected residential plumbing problem is an experience that every homeowner fears. When a pipe breaks or a water heater begins to leak in a vacant home, the damage can be extensive before the property owner is even aware that a problem exists. 

If you own a home that is vacant for long periods of time, such as one that is used for a vacation or second home or an investment property that is waiting to be renovated or resold, here is some smart advice to help you prevent damage from a plumbing problem that might occur in your absence. 

Turn the water off at the main point where it enters the home

One of the most effective ways to avoid finding that several inches of water has flooded your home during your absence is to stop water from flowing into the home. This is done by shutting off the main water shutoff valve, which will typically be found on the inside surface of an exterior wall in the home's basement or utility room.

It is important to remember that doing this will still leave some water trapped in the lines between the valve and the home's taps, so it should not be done in freezing weather without fully winterizing the home. It is, however, an easy way to limit water damage for short periods of time during spring, summer, and early fall. 

Have the home professionally winterized

Property owners who will be leaving a home vacant for long periods of time can best prevent water damage from a plumbing issue by having the home professionally winterized. During the winterization process, the plumbing services contractor will: 

  • drain hot water heaters to prevent the risk of them rusting or freezing and beginning to leak
  • drain toilet bowls and tanks 
  • add an anti-freeze product to the drain traps and toilet bowls to ensure no pockets of water remain that could be capable of freezing
  • turn off the water supply to the home and blow the moisture from the lines with an air compressor 

In addition, if the home has outside hydrants, spigots, or water features, such as hot tubs, pools, outdoor showers, or a plumbed pool house or garage, the plumbing services contractor will also winterize these areas. 

Invest in a plumping system condition assessment

Investing in a plumbing system condition assessment, followed by making all necessary repairs and renovations is also a smart idea to help reduce the threat of a plumbing nightmare during the time when the home is vacant. This is an excellent plan for homes where the plumbing must be left connected, such as a home that is listed for sale or for rent. A reputable plumbing services contractor can provide a thorough assessment of the current system and recommend repairs or replacement of any marginal components. For more information, contact residential plumbing services in your area.