5 min read

Christmas Fire Safety Tips

Christmas is a time for celebrations and social gatherings with loved ones. Many people go on vacation during this time to visit family and friends or get much-needed rest before the new year starts. 

Before heading to your holiday destination, taking appropriate steps to protect your home against water damage is essential. Water damage can be more common during the festive season for many reasons. These include cold temperatures causing frozen or burst pipes and roofing leaks from melted ice dams. Even something as minor as a leaky faucet can cause water damage if left unaddressed for days or weeks. 

Below, we share five water damage prevention tips to help ensure that your Christmas vacation ends in a joyful homecoming, not a damp disaster. 

5 Water Damage Prevention Tips 

1. Perform a Thorough Inspection 

A week or a few days before your departure, thoroughly inspect your home’s water-reliant appliances and fixtures. Check for leaks, unusual sounds, and other signs of potential plumbing issues. 

Here are some examples of appliances and fixtures you should check: 

  • Washing machine
  • Boiler
  • Refrigerator 
  • HVAC system
  • Water heaters 
  • Showers
  • Sinks 
  • Dishwasher 

If you spot any issues, contact a plumbing company right away so they can fix the problems before you leave. 

2. Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts 

Clogged gutters and downspouts could result in significant water damage when they cause water to build up and back up into your roof. Contact a gutter cleaning company to clear your gutters and downspouts before you go on holiday to help prevent this. You could also request that the company apply preventative measures, such as deicer bricks, to stop ice dams from forming. 

3. Make Sure Your Sump Pump Is Working

A sump pump is a piece of equipment that helps keep the space under your home dry. When it detects concerningly high water levels, it kicks into gear, removing water from the lowest part of your home and pumping it out and away from your property’s foundation. 

Since sump pumps help protect against flooding, ensuring that yours works properly before you go on vacation is crucial. Fortunately, it’s easy to test: pour a bucketful of water slowly into the area around the sump pump. If the water nears the top of the sump pit, but the system doesn’t activate, this indicates an issue with the system. 

Contact a sump pump contractor immediately for repairs or to replace your pump before you leave for your Christmas vacation. 

4. Keep the Heat On

HVAC contractors recommend leaving the heat on if you’ll be away from your home for a few days or weeks. This helps prevent frozen and burst pipes. However, you don’t have to turn it all the way up: you can keep the thermostat set at 55 to 60 degrees. 

If the winters in your area are mild, you might be able to keep it at 50 degrees without risking damage to your pipes. If you’re unsure, contact your trusted HVAC company for advice. 

5. Turn off the Main Water Supply Valve

A leak could have catastrophic results if no one is around to identify and address it. So, if you plan to be away for an extended period, consider shutting off your home’s main water supply. 

This step cuts off all water supply to your home, reducing the risk of leaks and flooding from plumbing failures. It only takes a little time and no special tools, but it could save you a lot of money in plumbing and water damage restoration services. 

First, determine where the main water supply valve is located. It has no standard location, so you might need to look around. Some places to check are: 

  • The basement
  • The crawl space
  • Under or above the water heater tank
  • The ground-level utility box or space near where the main water line enters the house

Alternatively, you can look for your home’s property inspection report. It should indicate where the water shut-off valve is located.

Turn on a faucet to check if you were successful at shutting off the main water valve. 

What to Do if Water Damage Occurs? 

Sometimes, accidents happen even when we take the necessary precautions and follow all water damage prevention tips. If you come home to a house that has been damaged by water due to a plumbing emergency or other cause, don’t panic. 

First, if it’s possible, stop the leak. For instance, a faucet might have been left open, or you might simply need to tighten a loose connection. 

Next, call for professional assistance. A water damage restoration company has the expertise and equipment to handle the cleanup and restoration process safely and effectively.

Choose Restoration 1 for Timely and Thorough Water Damage Restoration

The team at Restoration 1 are experts in all aspects of restoring a water-damaged home, from assessing the extent of the damage to performing repairs and cleanup. We use advanced equipment, such as thermal imaging cameras, air scrubbers, and dehumidifiers, to help restore your home to how it was before the incident. 

We are available to meet your restoration needs 24/7. Contact us today to request our services.