vacant home in winter covered in snow

10 Tips to Prevent Water Damage in a Vacant Property

When you leave your business property or home for a long period of time, you risk running into potential water damages on your return, especially in the frigid winter months. Frozen pipes may burst, water may leak through the roof, and clogged gutters may result in major flooding. When you return home, you may be faced with various issues, all of which can be very expensive to fix.

While it’s difficult to guard your property or home against theft, vandalism, or fire damage, there are steps you can take before your departure to keep water damage from happening. At Midwest Comfort Homes, our top priority is restoring your property back to normal, and if you keep the following tips in mind, you may not even have to worry about water damage at all! 

Tip #1: Set Thermostat to at Least 55 Degrees or Higher

When you leave your home or commercial property vacant in the winter, it’s best to set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees or higher to prevent your pipes from freezing. As an added safety measure, have your heating system inspected by a professional to ensure everything is working properly before your departure. 

Tip #2: Turn Off and Drain Your Water Heater 

If you’re only leaving for a few days, turning off your water heater should be sufficient to prevent any water damage. However, if you are leaving for an extended period, we recommend turning off your water heater and draining it. Just remember to refill it with water upon your return.

Tip #3: Turn Off Entire Water System When Possible 

Perhaps the greatest prevention of internal water damage is to turn off the water system entirely in your property. We recommend contacting a plumber for this job to ensure that it’s done properly. The plumber will turn off the water flow at the main value and drain all water from your house. Doing this also means that you can keep the heat off during your departure. 

If you can’t turn off and drain your water system due to other circumstances, you can still take preventive measures. We recommend that you turn off the hoses to dishwashers and washing machine and the water on the street. If you’re unsure of how to do this, contact your utility company for assistance. 

Tip #4: Treat Your Drains with Antifreeze 

Even after draining your pipes, there still can be remaining water that has the potential to freeze and cause water damage. To ensure this doesn’t happen, treat your drains with biodegradable antifreeze. 

Tip #5: Inspect Your Gutters and Clean if Necessary 

When gutters or downspouts are clogged with ice, you have a greater risk of flooding once the outside temperature increases. Before departure, we recommend checking your gutters to ensure that they are clean. As an added measure, make sure any downspouts are diverted away from the house so that water flow doesn’t affect the house foundation. 

Tip #6: Inspect Your Roof for Leaks or Other Damage 

When ice or snow builds up on your roof, you run the risk of leakage into your attic and internal walls. Before leaving your home, hire a professional to examine your room for any damages or missing shingles. 

Tip #7: Inspect Basement and Attic for Water Damage or Mold 

Before leaving, check your attic and basement for any type of water damage or mold. If you find evidence of mold or water damage, contact us immediately so we can fix the problem and keep it from worsening during your absence. 

Tip #8: Inspect All Areas of Entry for Proper Insulation 

Water can potentially enter your home or commercial building via windows and doors if they aren’t insulated properly. Before leaving, check that all points of entry are properly insulated and water-stripped.

Tip #9: Hire an Inspector or House Sitter to Frequently Check on Your House or Property

Even after taking precautionary measures, it’s a good idea to have someone routinely check on the vacant property. If problems were to arise, such as water leakage, mold, or burst pipes, they could immediately contact restoration professionals to restore your home or building.

Tip #10: Place Signage Around Your Vacant Property, Indicating What Systems Are Shut Off

Be sure to include signage indicating what not to use around the home or building for anyone checking the property. This prevents people from turning water systems back on that should be left off. 

Trust Midwest Comfort Homes for Your Water Damage Restoration Needs

These ten tips can help prevent water damage in your vacant home or business property, but still — accidents happen. Severe winter storms can damage your building’s exterior structures, resulting in roof damage and flooding. And if pipes aren’t drained properly, they can burst due to cold conditions. 

It’s devastating to return to your property and be faced with damages like these, but Midwest Comfort Homes is here to help you every step of the way. We will thoroughly inspect your property and negotiate with insurance companies and disaster mitigation companies to ensure you receive the care you need.

This isn’t business — it’s personal. You need your home or commercial property for your physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. Water damage is one of the easiest disasters to prevent; however, if a disaster still occurs, MCH has your back. 

Contact us online or call us at (816) 988 – 8297 to get your building restoration started today.