We all love the friends, family, and food that fills the holiday season. The holidays are a time for making memories, sharing, and giving thanks; however, for many of us, traveling away from the home for extended gatherings is a necessity. Sadly, it is during the winter months (at the heart of holiday season) that we Ohioans see some of the colder weather. Whether it’s an unanticipated ice or snow storm, a malfunctioning appliance, or frozen pipe, we need to be prepared for any disaster whether we are home or not.
To help put you at ease and truly enjoy your friends and family while traveling, here are few tips for preventing flood, fire, or mold disasters:
- Set the thermostat to 55 degrees while you are away. This low, but safe temperature will help prevent pipes from freezing. It’s a reasonable temperature that won’t significantly impact your heating bill.
- Have a neighbor or friend check in on the home while you’re gone. It’s best to have them do this within the first 24 hours and every other day if possible. Disasters are entirely less expensive when they are spotted as they occur, rather than after they have devastated an area of the home.
- Be sure all of your copper pipes are insulated. This is a simple step that can save thousands of dollars in the short term during your absence. To check to see if your copper pipes are already insulated, just perform a touch test. If they are warm, they need insulation. Interestingly, the federal government offers rebates, tax credits, and savings programs to help offset any costs.
- Check to make sure your water lines and sump pumps are functioning properly before the real freezing temperatures hit. To be safe and ensure they are working the way they should, get them inspected by a certified plumber. For the record, every home in Central Ohio has a sump pump or should have one, and having one that malfunctions and freezes over can be devastating.
- Having your furnace serviced to lower the risk of fire in the house. Be sure to regularly change your filters to keep the furnace functioning at full capacity.
- Unplug all appliances if they are not serving any purpose while you are away. As a company that handles fire damage remediation, we’ve seen far too many house fires caused by malfunctioning appliances.
- If the homeowner expects freezing temperatures and will be away for longer than a few days, slightly turn a faucet to create slow drip which will move water through the pipes (minimally) to help prevent freezing in water lines.
Unlike most mold removal companies, Dry Patrol prefers to take on a proactive approach to educating homeowners, rather than simply coming into the job after devastation has occurred. Based on personal, first-hand experience with flood damage, we would much rather see you come home from festive gatherings well rested and filled with gratitude rather than any surprises.
From our family to yours—have a happy and healthy holiday season. Enjoy your travels and be safe!
Need assistance with mold, flood, fire or bio-hazard damage?