How to Avoid Water Damage While on Vacation

  • Water Damage Restoration

After what has seemed eons of time, many will finally be able to enjoy a vacation away from home this year. While these are usually fun, happy, relaxing, and battery charging events, all that good could come crashing down the minute you get back home if when you open the door you step into standing water. Discovering water damage in your home is a nightmare you’ll never want to experience.

To avoid this type of scenario, Chicagoland homeowners must be aware of and put into place the following safeguards to prevent flooding emergencies and water damage while they’re away. The preparation and extra leg work can pay off in the form of thousands of dollars saved and peace of mind.

4 Steps to Take Before Leaving Home

  1. Shut Off the Main Water Valve – Before heading out of town, shut off the main water line to prevent any change of water damage while you’re away. Many water meter setups have two valves, one on the street side of the meter and one on the house side. In a colder climates, such as in the Chicagoland area, you’ll typically find the main shutoff in the basement near the front of the house. In warmer climates, it’ll be outside your home attached to an exterior wall or in an underground box with a removable lid.
  2. Shut Off Water Supply Valves – If you’re unable to shut off the main water supply because you have an automatic sprinkler system or someone is watering the plants while you’re gone, shut off the valves to the most common sources of water damage such as dishwashers, icemakers and washing machines, in case a hose cracks or lets go. Typical supply stops have a small round or oval handle that you turn clockwise to shut off the flow of water.
  3. Replace Water Supply Lines – To avoid water damage, especially when you’re away from home, be sure to install stainless steel braided water supply lines on your appliances, faucets and toilets. They’ll last longer than rubber or plastic hoses and are less likely to leak. They also prevent mice from gnawing through the lines. A pair of washing machine hoses costs less than $20 at home centers. Shorter versions for faucets or a toilet are also available.
  4. Check Your Gutters – A 1,000 sq. ft. roof will shed about 620 gallons of water during a 1 inch rainfall. That’s a lot of water dumped right next to your basement. So, before leaving on a vacation, check your gutters. Make sure leaves, sticks or other debris aren’t blocking the inlet of the downspout and preventing water from flowing down the spout. Also make certain your downspout extensions are discharging the water far from the foundation.

Water Damage is More Than a Nuisance

The reasons to take the previous precautions before going on vacation are many. Besides the headaches and expenses, you may also experience these other problems caused by water damage:

  • Structural Damage
  • Mold
  • Health Problems
  • Bad Smells
  • Stains
  • Electrical Damage

We’ve all been through a lot lately, so we hope that you’ll never experience water damage, especially after a relaxing vacation. But if the unexpected arises, let ServiceMaster By Simons ease your mind by removing all traces of such a horrible event. We’ll do the work while you sit back and enjoy your pictures, videos and memories.

About Us: ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a 2020 recipient of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. For more information, call 773-376-1110 or visit or


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