Its that time of year when people are travels all around to visit family, see friends, or enjoy a well deserved vacation. The excitement of travel often comes with meticulous planning, packing, and making sure everything is in order. However, amidst the anticipation, it’s essential not to overlook the well-being of your home. Unattended leaks and the potential for mold growth can be unwelcome surprises upon your return. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips for preparing your home to ensure a mold-free and leak-resistant environment while you’re away.
Inspect and Repair Leaks:
Before embarking on your journey, conduct a thorough inspection of your home for any signs of leaks. Check faucets, pipes, water heaters, and appliances that use water. Even a small, seemingly inconspicuous leak can lead to significant issues in your absence. Repair any leaks promptly to prevent water damage and mold growth.
Clean and Dry Bathrooms and Kitchens:
Mold thrives in damp environments, and bathrooms and kitchens are common hotspots. Clean these areas thoroughly, ensuring that surfaces are dry. Consider using mold-resistant cleaning products and make sure to address any areas prone to moisture accumulation.
Manage Humidity Levels:
High humidity levels can create an ideal environment for mold growth. Set your HVAC system to humidity levels below 60% or use dehumidifiers in areas prone to moisture. Proper ventilation also helps to reduce indoor humidity, so ensure that your home is well-aired before you leave.
Inspect the Roof:
A leaking roof can cause extensive damage and contribute to mold growth. Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles, and inspect the attic for any signs of water intrusion. If you discover issues, it’s advisable to address them before your departure.
Turn Off Water Supply to Appliances:
Consider turning off the water supply to appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. This extra precaution can prevent leaks caused by malfunctioning appliances or damaged hoses while you’re away. We’ve had many clients that have been welcomed home with under sink pipe failure flooding their entire home. We suggest turning off the water supply to the entire house. A water meter key can be purchased from any home improvement store for $20. This is also helpful to have on hand in the case of any water emergencies in the home.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts:
Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water overflow, potentially causing leaks and water damage. Clear debris from gutters and ensure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation of your home.
Secure Outdoor Areas:
Secure outdoor items such as patio furniture and gardening equipment to prevent potential damage during storms or adverse weather conditions. Additionally, ensure that windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent water intrusion.
Set Thermostats at Optimal Levels:
While it’s tempting to turn off your HVAC system to save energy, it’s essential to maintain a controlled indoor environment. Set your thermostat to a temperature that prevents excessive humidity and ensures your home remains within a comfortable range. We suggest using a programable thermostat to monitor the temperature in your home to be aware of any malfunctions while away.
Inform a Trusted Neighbor:
Let a trusted neighbor know about your travel plans. Share your contact information and ask them to keep an eye on your home. They can notify you of any unusual occurrences, such as leaks or signs of intrusion, allowing you to address issues promptly.
Install Leak Detection Devices:
Consider installing leak detection devices, especially in areas prone to water damage. These devices can alert you to leaks in real-time, providing an opportunity for swift action and minimizing potential damage. We suggest ones that are wi-fi enabled to immediately notify you of leaks. Place these near toilets, in vanities, under sinks, around washing machine, and near hot water heaters.
A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring your home remains mold-free and leak-resistant while you’re away. By taking these steps, you can travel with peace of mind, knowing that you’ve taken measures to protect your home. Returning to a well-maintained and secure environment adds an extra layer of joy to your travel experiences. Safe travels!