If you have a vacation home that generally sits unoccupied during the winter months, you need to set aside a day to go out and secure your property so that no water damage occurs while your property is unoccupied.
#1 Make Sure There Is No Present Water Damage
Start out by making sure that there is no present water damage on your property. Start by looking at your basement and making sure that it is dry and that there is not an excess level of moisture or dampness in the basement. Next, walk through the house and look at all the ceilings and walls and inspect them for water marks. Then, check under all of your cupboards where plumbing is located and check for pools of water or water dripping from your pipes. Make sure that you pay attention to your sense of smell as well; if your home smells musty or moldy at all, be sure to investigate the source of the smell.
If you find any signs of water damage, you need to address these issues first before taking other preventative measures. The easiest way to deal with water damage once it occurs is to hire a restoration and water damage company to fix the damage for you in your rental home.
#2 Turn Off Your Water Heater
You don't need to use your water heater when your vacation home is unoccupied. Keeping your water heater on when you are not using it could lead to issues. You don't want your water heater to leak while it is unused.
If you have a new water heater, put your water heater on vacation mode instead. This will reduce the energy use out of your water heater and help prevent water from leaking.
#3 Turn Off The Water
Now you need to turn off the water to your entire house. By turning off your water, you'll ensure that no pipes leak or burst during the winter when you home is unoccupied. After you turn off the water, turn on all faucets and let any water that is remaining in the pipes drain out then turn the faucets off. You should also turn off the individual water values to your major appliances that use water, such as your fridge, dishwasher, and washing machine.
#4 Remove Debris From Gutters
Finally, get up on your roof and take care of it. Water damage often starts with your roof. Remove all loose debris that is on your roof. Then, clean out your gutters and make sure that they are flowing smoothly. You may want to hire a roofing contractor to install a guard over your gutter to keep the debris out.
If any of your gutters are loose, secure them in place with some nails. Be sure to check your downspouts and make sure that they are secure against your home as well.