Tag Archives: water damage

Top 5 Things To Do Before Vacation

Returning home after a well-deserved break, only to discover a flooded laundry room or kitchen is not how most people want to end their vacation. Follow these simple steps to avoid coming home to a big mess and costly repairs.

1.  Turn off the water

Water leaks can cause devastating damage to your home in a short amount of time. A failed hose connection, plumbing fixture, pipe fitting, or appliance can leak gallons of water in no time, resulting in costly repairs.

  • Turn the main water supply off completely unless someone will be watering plants or pet sitting in your absence. Turn off the individual water supply to sinks, toilets, and washing machine.

Most hoses that come standard with new washing machines are low quality, often lasting less than five years. High quality burst proof replacement hoses, such as those available at Floodchek, can be purchased for around $40. This small investment can potentially save thousands of dollars in damages.

2. Unplug appliances and electronics

Defective household appliances, electronics, and wiring can be a fire hazard. Some are also prone to damage from power surges. In addition to fire risk and damage they can draw power and waste electricity, even when not in use.

  • Unplug kitchen appliances and household electronics like the TV, DVD player, and computer.
  • Ensure electrical outlets are not overloaded.
  • Replace damaged or frayed electrical cords, plugs, and power strips.
  • Turn down heat or air-conditioning to conserve energy or turn it off completely if practical.

3. Secure your home

Nothing speaks louder to a potential intruder than an overgrown lawn or newspapers piled on the porch. Secure your home by taking some simple steps to make it look lived in during your absence.

  • If you have a home security system, contact the service provider with the dates you will be gone and how best to reach you in case of emergency. Instruct the house sitter how to operate the system.
  • Place a hold on mail and newspaper delivery. Visit the United States Postal Service website to cease mail delivery for the dates you specify.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye out for door flyers or packages. If possible, ask the neighbor to park their car in your driveway.
  • If leaving garbage bins out to be emptied, arrange for someone to remove them from the curb once the garbage is collected.
  • Arrange for the grass to be cut in your absence.
  • Store tools and ladders out of sight and lock outdoor shed or storage area.
  • Remove outdoor spare keys.
  • Keep trees and bushes trimmed away from windows and doorways.
  • Install timers for interior and exterior lights and set them to mimic your regular habits.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are locked, including basement windows and the door from the garage leading into the house.
  • Move expensive electronics, jewelry, etc out of sight from windows and doors. Secure valuables in a home safe or safe deposit box.
  • Leave a house key, contact information, and itinerary with a friend or neighbor.
  • Notify the local police station with your plans so they can include your home on their neighborhood watch list.

4. Think before sharing

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have made it easier than ever to publicly share personal information. It is very popular to share pictures and personal information of where we are, who we are with, and what we are up to. This information can then be shared with friends of friends, potentially hundreds or more often complete strangers.

  • Think twice before publicly sharing pictures and trip highlights on social media while you are gone on vacation. It might be better to play it safe and wait until you return home.
  • Keep the same greeting on your home phone and turn off the ringer. A ringing phone left unanswered is a tip to an intruder that no one is home.

5. Last but not least

  • Throw out all perishable items in the refrigerator.
  • Take out the trash, making sure lids are secure on outdoor garbage.
  • Water plants (indoor and outdoor).
  • Have a worry free vacation!


Home Emergency Services, Water Damage – Post 3 of 6

Winter Storm Damages

Winter Storm Damages

Water leaks in the home can result in costly repairs. In the unfortunate event your basement is flooded, a pipe bursts, or the hot water tank springs a leak, it is important to act quickly to minimize costly, secondary damages. Water should be extracted immediately and the area dried thoroughly to avoid mold and the possibility of having to replace wallboard, insulation, and flooring.

The service professionals we recommend are equipped to provide 24 hour emergency flood and sewage damage clean-up and restoration work, including any necessary repairs or reconstruction.


Home Emergency Services, Gutters & Storm Drains – Post 1 of 6

High tides, wind, and a failed drainage system flooded this West Seattle home

The first day of winter is nearing and with it comes wind, rain, and snow storms. Are you and your home ready for winter? Having a contingency plan and knowing who to call can save valuable time and money when reacting to an unexpected home emergency.

You must act quickly to minimize damages when faced with an unexpected home emergency. We can assist in getting you the right help, right away. You will have plenty to do on your own securing personal items and possibly even safely relocating children, seniors, and pets. Immediately contacting a professional who specializes in home emergencies will help minimize property loss, reduce costly repairs, and help keep your family safe and healthy. Once the emergency is controlled, they can provide a scope of repairs and detailed proposal to submit on your behalf to your insurance company.

We and our team of talented emergency service providers have your back when you least expect it. Over the next week we will post tips to prepare for winter, and if you need them, emergency services we have available to get you through those unexpected moments.

Gutters & Storm Drains

The first step to avoid water getting into your home and causing damage involves some simple maintenance procedures. Keeping gutters, downspouts, and storm drains clear allows water to be properly diverted away from the home. When full of debris or improperly positioned, gutters and downspouts can overflow or divert water to unwanted places, such as along the foundation and into the basement. Some leaks are slow and difficult to detect until they become a bigger problem. Other times, extensive flooding and damage can occur in just a matter of hours during a hard rain.

Cleaning gutters and keeping drains clear is a simple and inexpensive task that can save thousands of dollars in costly repairs. The do-it-yourself type can usually complete the job with no problem. You can also hire someone to help, often for as little as a couple hundred dollars. A small price compared to what repairs could cost by neglecting this basic home maintenance item.

If after taking these steps you discover water intrusion problems it is best to consult with someone who specializes and understands how the drainage system works around your home. Sometimes these systems fail below the surface of the ground and around the foundation and can be difficult to detect without proper investigation.


Water, Fire, Smoke, and Sewage Damage Cleaning & Restoration

I hope you never have to use our most recently added service! If you ever experience the unfortunate event of water, fire, smoke, or sewage damage in your home, we can help. I’m excited to announce we now have a 24 hour response team that dries out, cleans up, and can make any necessary repairs to your home due to these type damages. They also offer mold remediation & asbestos testing.

Top 5 Projects To Complete Before You Go On Vacation

Avoid Water Damage From Failed Hoses & Fittings

Short of fire, nothing causes more damage to the inside of your home than leaking water from failing pipes, hoses, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. A failed hose connection on an unattended washing machine can cause devastating damage in a short amount of time.

  • Turn off the water supply to the washing machine, sinks, and toilets when going on vacation. If you do not have someone watering outside plants or pet sitting, turn the main water supply off completely.

Did you know most hoses and fittings that come with new washing machines are low quality, usually lasting no more than four or five years? A high-quality pair of washing machine hoses can be purchased for about $40 and is a low-cost investment compared to the thousands of dollars of damage that can be incurred by a failed hose fitting.

  • Replace all rubber hoses with high-quality ‘burst proof’ hoses, such as those made by FloodChek, which guarantees its hoses against leaking or bursting for up to 20 years.

Pull The Plug

Many household appliances draw power even when they are not on. Power surges can damage them and they use unnecessary electricity in your absence. Defective appliances and wiring can also pose a fire hazard.

  • Unplug household appliances like the TV, DVD player, computer, and kitchen appliances.
  • Ensure outlets are not overloaded.
  • Examine electrical cords and plugs for damage. Avoid leaving anything plugged in that is frayed or damaged.
  • Lower the heating/air-conditioning unit to energy conserving levels or turn it off entirely if reasonable.

Home Security

Take some simple steps to make your home look lived in while you are away on vacation. These preventative measures will go far in deterring potential intruders.

  • Have your mail and newspaper delivery put on hold. Visit the United States Postal Service website to easily stop mail delivery for the period of time you specify.
  • Ask a nearby friend or neighbor to keep an eye on things and to collect packages and door flyers regularly.
  • If you left garbage bins out for collection ask a neighbor to take them away from the curb after they are emptied.
  • Arrange to have the lawn mowed in your absence.
  • Remove outdoor spare keys.
  • Ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway.
  • If you have a security system, be sure you alert your house sitter how to operate the system in the event they need to enter the home. Notify the home security company of the dates you will be gone and who they should contact in your absence.
  • Purchase timers for interior and exterior lights and set them so they are on during similar hours you are normally home. Leaving lights on 24 hours a day that would normally be off at night is a good way to alert an intruder you are not home.
  • As much as possible, leave window coverings in the same position as you normally would. Seasoned intruders watch for uncharacteristic signs.
  • Move expensive electronics, jewelry, cash, etc. visible from windows and doors. Secure valuables in a home safe or safe deposit box.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are securely locked, including basement windows, outdoor sheds, and the door leading into your home from the garage.
  • Eliminate hiding spots for burglars by trimming back trees and bushes from windows and entry areas.
  • Put away all lawn equipment and tools such as ladders.
  • Leave your house key, contact information, and travel itinerary with a friend or neighbor in case of emergency.
  • Notify the local police department of your plans so they can add your home to their neighborhood watch list.

Do Not Alert The World You Are On Vacation

It has become increasingly popular to broadcast what we are doing, where we are, and who we are with on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Think about who has access to this information. Most likely there are hundreds of strangers with access to your postings who you would not likely choose to announce you are leaving your home unattended for two weeks.

  • Play it safe and share your vacation pictures and trip highlights on your favorite social networking sites, after you return home.
  • An intruder can easily be tipped off about an empty home by an unanswered phone. Turn off the ringer and leave your everyday greeting. Just because you are unavailable at that moment, callers do not need to know you have left town for two weeks.

Last Minute Items

  • Throw out all perishable items in the refrigerator.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Water plants (indoor and outdoor).

Have A Fabulous and Carefree Vacation!