Turn it off – Safety Measures to Prevent Your Home and Basement from Flooding When Away

Jun 03, 2014

Turn it off! Simple Things to Protect Your Home and Basement from Flooding


One of the worst possible times for a home to experience flooding is when you, the homeowner, are away from the house.  Imagine returning home from a wonderful relaxing vacation only to find that the basement or another area of your home has flooded.

There are a few simple things that you can do to help prevent accidental flooding from happening.  One easy safeguard is to install a washing machine shut-off valve, as shown on the right,  in your laundry room.  Did you know that a burst water hose can discharge up to 500 gallons of water in an hour?

This shut-off valve will stop the water from flowing in the hoses and will reduce the pressure on the washing machine’s hoses as well.  This safeguard is simple to implement and economical as well.  This little washing machine shut-off valve will provide you with peace of mind when you are away from the home for extended periods of time.  You should get into the habit of turning it on and off each time you do laundry as well.  You can find washing machine shut-off valves that are automatic, have timers and sensors too.

According to Liz Pratt of Act Fast Restoration, there are  only 4 things that are major causes of water damage in the home:

  • frozen pipes
  • ruptured washer hoses
  • leaking supply lines
  • dripping water heaters

One of the suggestions that ActFast offers is that you turn off all of the water valves and supply lines that carry water, including the main line.   Turning off the main water line might be an inconvenience but it is the ultimate insurance against (non Mother Nature related) water damage and flooding inside your home.  If you do shut off the main water valve/line, be sure to let someone know where the shut-off is located in the event of an emergency.

While shut-offs are incredibly important, so are sump pumps. Sump pumps will mitigate the damage from flooding in your basement by draining the water away from your home. Talk to Rescon about a battery backup sump pump so it will still work during the toughest storms, or about an annual test to make sure that it will work dependably when you need it. 

And don’t forget to use the shut-off valves that many of your household appliances/fixtures have.  For example, you can shut off the flow and supply of water to the toilet, dishwasher, sink and even shut off the water flow to the refrigerator/ice maker.

Happy Vacationing!

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