Preventing Fire Damage and Water Damage While on Vacation

You have finally booked a flight to your dream destination and are planning to go on a well-deserved vacation with your loved ones. Vacations are great because they allow people to relax and make memories, but sometimes the joy and excitement of the holidays turn to pain when you return home and discover that your place isn’t how you left it. While you are gone, fire and/or water can wreck your home as these forces of nature don’t take breaks and can cause damage anytime.

To ensure that your vacation doesn’t turn into a bad memory, we will show you some important things you must do before going on holidays to prevent fire damage and water damage while you are away.

Things to do to Prevent Fire Damage

Fire can wreak havoc in minutes. While the firefighters will extinguish the fire while you are gone, the damage will be done by the time they are finished. Therefore, take these precautions before going on a vacation to decrease the probability of your home catching fire.

  • Check the Smoke Alarms

The battery of your smoke alarms may have worn out. If that is the case, it won’t go off when a fire starts. So before you leave for the trip, test all your smoke alarms to see if they are working fine and replace the batteries. You won’t be in the house, but your neighbors might be able to hear the alarms going off and call the firefighters who can extinguish the fire before it turns your home into ashes. It would be a good idea to inform your neighbors that you are going on a vacation so that they can stay alert to respond to fire damage.

  • Unplug all Unnecessary Electronic Equipment

Since you will be away for several days or a couple of weeks, it makes no sense to keep unnecessary electronic items and applications plugged. So before going on a vacation, unplug all unnecessary electronic equipment like TVs, video game systems, microwave, computers, mobile chargers, etc. This will reduce the risk of fire from an electrical malfunction.

Things to do to Prevent Water Damage

Water damage can destroy your home, especially when you are away and can’t do anything to minimize the damage. Therefore, do the things listed below before leaving for a vacation to decrease the risk of water damage.

  • Turn off Water Supply

Turn off the main water supply to reduce the risk of water damage. If you have to leave it on due to some reason like to keep the sprinkler system operation, then consider turning off valves to your bathrooms, laundry room and kitchen. In the unfortunate event that there’s an issue, water won’t flow unrestricted while you are away since you turned off the valves.

  • Clean the Gutters

If your gutters are clogged and it rains, the rainwater wouldn’t drain away from your home. When that happens, water will start accumulating around your home’s founding, leading to water coming inside your home through the foundation walls or basement windows. Therefore, before leaving for a vacation, remove debris and leaves from gutters. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a plumber to clean the gutters for you to ensure that you are protected against water damage from clogged gutters.  

  • Make Sure Your Sump Pump is Working

Sump pumps collect excess water and pump it out of your home’s basement. If you have one installed in your basement, make sure that it is working fine before going on a vacation. To see if your sump pump is working, pour some water into the sump and see it pumps it out. Also, check the battery backup of your sump pump if you have the backup system and consider adding it if you don’t.

  • Get Leaks Fixed

Minor leans often conceal internal corrosion that could result in a rupture any time. So, if you notice any nagging leaks, get them fixed before you leave for your vacation.

Final Thoughts

We have discussed some important things you should for preventing fire and water damage to your home while you are away on vacation. However, despite taking these precautionary measures, your home can still suffer from fire damage or water damage. If that ever happens, call Square One for water damage or fire damage clean-up and restoration. If you find out about the damage while you are still on a vacation, call us at 602-714-1092 and give us your approval to do the clean-up and restoration work while you are away.

Water Damage Remedial Procedure

Water damage due to flooding, sewer back-ups, plumbing leaks, and major spills can occur at a home or commercial building at any time. Water-damaged materials, mechanical components, structural components, and interior furnishing can become a source of bacteria and fungi contamination if they aren’t managed appropriately. Exposure to these harmful contaminants can lead to health problems like environmental sensitivity, allergic responses, irritation, and even infection.

This is why it is so important to start remedial work after water damage as soon as possible. If you haven’t been a victim of water damage yet, you might not know how professionals carry out water damage restoration work. So we are going to provide an overview of the steps involved in it.

Water Damage Restoration

Several variables have to be considered by the restoration team when water damage occurs in a property. However, drying wet things as quickly as possible is the top priority as it helps in limiting damages. Bacteria (microbials) are found in both indoor and outdoor environment and when moisture is present, they will grow. It is, therefore, important to remediate water damage before they can grow. During the water damage remediation process, one of the most important things to consider is the ‘water quality’.

Water Quality

Generally, water quality is divided into three categories – clean water, grey water, and black or unsanitary water.

Clean Water

The category 1 water damage is from sanitary and clean sources like toilet tanks, water lines, faucets, and drinking fountains. Although clean, this water comes with risks. If the cleaned water isn’t cleared and dried quickly, it can degrade into relatively more harmful category 2 water damage.

Grey Water

The category 2 water damage is from sources that contain contaminants that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Common sources that can cause this kind of damage include washing machines, dishwashers, and toilet overflow with urine.

Unsanitary or Black Water

The category 3 water damage is from sources that contain dangerously unsanitary contaminants. Black water can cause serious illnesses and even death if ingested. This type of water damage can result from flooding, sewer backups, and toilet overflow with feces.

Water Damage Restoration Process

A water damage restoration process consists of the following steps:

  • Evaluation of Safety Aspects

Before water damage restoration professionals enter the water-damaged area, they will evaluate the safety aspects like structural integrity, the potential for electric shock, exposure to toxic gases, and gas leaks. If the building has been exposed to category 2 or category 3 water damage, restoration professionals will equip themselves with personal protective equipment.

  • Isolating the Damaged Area

The water damage restoration professionals will isolate the damaged area by placing warning signs and barriers. This is done to ensure that intruders don’t find their way into the building while the professionals are doing their job.

  • Locating the Source of Water Damage

The next step is to identify the source of water damage and repair or eliminate it to prevent further damage.

  • Moving Furnishings and Equipment

Water damage restoration experts will move furnishings and equipment (if required) to protect them against further damage. They will also seal exhaust systems and air-handling units.

  • Removing Standing Water

All standing water will be first removed thoroughly by absorption or extraction using wet-vacuums, pumps, etc.

  • Drying Damaged Materials

After the standing water has been removed, the wet, damaged materials will be dried by using heaters, fans, and dehumidifiers. Windows will be opened if outdoor conditions can assist in the process of drying. Air movers will also be used during the restoration work. They are effective at removing the moisture from hard-to-reach areas like below carpets and behind walls. Unpleasant odors will be removed using air scrubbers, fogging machines or hydroxyl filters.

  • Remediate Components

After the moisture has been removed and everything has been properly dried, the water damage restoration professionals will proceed with restoring the damaged components. Minor repairs like replacing drywalls as well as major repairs like reconstruction will be completed.

Final Thoughts

You know now how professional water damage restoration works. Can you imagine doing everything that the professionals do on your own? Obviously not. Call Square One any time your home suffers from water damage.  We understand that a rapid response to limit water damage and cleaning, drying, and removal of wet and contaminated material is critical to minimize the opportunity for microbial growth. This is why we offer 24/7 emergency service and will arrive at your doorstep as soon as possible to start the restoration work. The experts from our professional restoration company will bring your building back to its original condition.