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Come Back from Vacation to a Dry Home – Turn Off the Water

The scene must have been terrible. Our client had been out of town for just a few days, enjoying time with family and friends. They returned from the getaway to find their recently remodeled kitchen flooded. Even though they had a dishwasher that was only six months old, the water supply line had ruptured. Most of the cabinets under the sink were ruined, and a cascade of water flowed from the mess in the kitchen down a set of stairs, flooding a large part of their finished basement.

When we think of a flood, we think of raging rivers escaping their banks, but most floods are caused by water escaping the plumbing. We also think of pipes bursting in the winter, but even in the summer months, floods in your home or condo can happen.

The water damage can be exacerbated when the homeowner is away. In just a few days wood can be ruined and mold can form on wet surfaces. With a few simple steps you can prevent the damage when you are on vacation or on a trip.

Turn Off the Water – Before leaving on a vacation, turn your water off at the source. Knowing where your water shut-off valve is located is a good idea anyway.

In older homes, shut-off valves may not have aged very well. Consider having a corroded or hard to turn valve replaced by a licensed plumber. Being able to conveniently turn off your water supply with a modern valve will cost less than most homeowner’s insurance deductibles.

Inspect Supply Lines – Items such as toilets, sinks, dishwashers, icemakers and washing machines are supplied with water by either copper, pvc or flexible lines and hoses. Take a look at these supply lines and note any damage, particularly in the flexible lines. Make plans to replace any that are showing their age.

Flexible lines have a lifespan, and need periodic replacement. Check with your licensed plumber about switching out these lines, or even replacing them with more durable options.

Check Your Coverage – As part of your yearly review of your insurance policies, talk with your independent insurance agent about flood coverage, especially if you are a condominium unit owner. For condo owners, the condominium master policy affords a great deal of protection and you may only be responsible for its deductible, but things like personal belongings are not covered on the master policy, or perhaps updated flooring.

If you have any questions about your insurance, the independent agents of O’Connor Insurance are happy to talk with you about protecting your house or condominium. Call us at 314-434-0038.

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