Huntington Beach, CA, August 17th, 2020
July and August are typically two of the busiest months for family vacations. This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to change or alter their summer plans, but many were still able to get away or at least postpone a planned trip.
Aside from having to cancel or postpone travels due to a public health emergency, few other things can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare as quickly as coming back to a water damaged home. Water damage is one of the most common reasons for an insurance claim and when it occurs while no one is home, what perhaps would have been a small water damaging event, can quickly escalate into a major damage.
While preventing a natural flood is out of people’s hands, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of most other forms of water damage from occurring during a trip away from home. Helpful tips to mitigate the potential for water damage while away include the following:
- Check the home for any existing leaks.
- Consider shutting off the water main to the home. If this cannot be done because of an automatic sprinkler system or other reason, shut off the valves to major appliances within the home.
- If the property has a well, consider shutting the pump off.
- Check gutters and downspouts for damage and any debris that may be causing obstructions.
- If the property has a sump pump, be sure it is in working order.
- When traveling during freezing weather, be sure the home’s heating system is operating properly and that any exposed pipes are insulated. It is often a good idea to drain pipes if the water has been shut off by running water faucets and flushing the toilets.
- Ask a family member, friend or neighbor to periodically check on the home and be sure they know where the water main shut off valve is located.
“In the event that water damage does occur while people are away, it’s important to understand that the introduction of water or elevated humidity levels indoors can cause the growth of mold in as short as 48 hours on most building materials, furnishings and belongings,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “If the water damage is due to a sanitary sewer overflow or because of outdoor flooding, it likely already contains mold, not to mention bacteria, viruses and even chemical contaminants that could create immediate exposure hazards.”
Helping residents of California identify water damage and any microbial or chemical contaminants due to water damage are the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) experts at LA Testing. Their California facilities offer laboratory testing services, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, air monitoring instruments and building inspection tools. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about things people can do to help prevent water damage in their home while they are away. It can be seen at: https://youtu.be/ht8AXdIlfMA.
To learn more about this or other building science, environmental, health and safety testing services and products, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.