Vacant Home Water Damage : How You Can Prevent It Today

Leaks underneath your tub or shower are common, but you may not notice if you're not in the property for several months or even weeks.

Water damage often happens in homes that are vacant for long periods of time. Whether you're going on vacation or own a vacation home, the unexpected can happen for days or weeks without anyone knowing. Just in time for all that relaxation, you are notified by the water department about excess water use or a neighbor contacts you in a panic!

Check out these common water damage occurrences in vacant properties. How can you be proactive in preventing them?

Vacation Homes and Rentals

Summer time means vacations, trips out of the country, and…water damage? WHAT?

If you own a vacation home, water damage can occur from either the renting party or the breakdown of elements in the rental. A water heater leak, plumbing issue or water line leak to the refrigerator are very common issues so doing what you can to prevent them is essential to not only save money, but save your property as well. The longer water damage sits, the more costly it becomes because the damage migrates through walls and wood flooring. Mold only needs 24-48 hours to start growing. Now that’s a huge mess!

How can you be preventive? Contact a company to check your water heater for leaks or damage and replace as needed. Check all water lines for leaks as well. Keep the gutters cleared. Making these repairs part of your regular home maintenance routine would prevent a costly water damage repair. If you have vacation home renters, keep a list of damage prevention reminders as a gesture for your guests.

If you plan to be gone for an extended period of time, consider having a trusted family member or friend look after your home. Having a regular presence in your home can catch water damage (or prevent any other pesky business such as rodents, vandalism or burglary) in the act!


If you are not able to have a house sitter, consider turning off your water supply to your house, as well as your water heater. Unplugging your washing machine is also not a bad idea, since any water in the line could spontaneously leak. You don’t need extra things to cause you worry, this way you can really enjoy your vacation.

Homes on the Market

A home can be set up to perfection for inspections, presentations and walkthroughs when you’re getting ready to sell. However, there is more of an opportunity for massive damage to happen when the home is not occupied regularly because leaks and floods are missed for longer periods of time. You may also discover water damage to your home that’s on the market due to any repairs that are already in process. This type of damage can really put a damper on your sale.

You can be proactive by noting any old or rusty pipes, leaky toilets, old water heaters and water sewer issues before putting your home up for sale. A thorough inspection and replacing old equipment, although potentially pricy, will help in the long term quality of your investment. An updated home can also improve the salability of your property, increase the return on your investment and be an overall positive experience for you and the buyer.

Nobody wants to deal with water damage, especially with a vacant home. Get ahead of the game today so you prevent a giant mess!

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