Flooding is a threat to any home. But, people with vacation homes in Avalon, NJ or anywhere else on the Jersey shore have two additional risks to consider: The increased chances of flooding near the ocean, and the fact that you’re not at the house for months at a time to nip a small problem in the butt.
Fortunately, you can take a few steps to keep your home safe from flooding and water damage — particularly during the months when you’re not there.
In this article, we’ll offer four tips to keep your home safe. The first one is DIY. For the second, we’ll say, at best, proceed with caution.
Finally, the last two will cost a little money — but, if you add that up against the potential cost of a flood, it’s more than worth the investment.
If you have any questions along the way about how to implement these in your South Jersey home, give Broadley’s a call or email for any plumbing service you need.
Four Ways to Prevent Flooding in Your Shore Home
Take the following steps to prevent flooding and water damage in your shore home when you’re not there:
- Turn Off the Water Main and Water heaters
- Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clear
- Have a Pro Winterize Your Home
- Use Flood Monitoring Devices
Turn Off the Water Main and Water Heaters
Turning off the water main is something many people know to do when they’re closing up their shore house. So, we’ll go through that briefly. Then, we’ll take things a step further.
So, starting with the main: Find the fixture where the water comes into your home. It’s usually in the basement if you have one. Otherwise, check the closets or crawl space.
It’s most likely against the wall closest to the street because that’s where the city lines come in from.
You’ll see a lever on the main. Turn it clockwise, usually from 12:00 to 3:00. You’ll feel it when you can’t go any further. That way, you have no more water coming into the house.
Now, the second step is also turning off your water heater. There’s a simple on/off switch on an electric model. For gas models, turn it to vacation mode. It keeps the pilot light on as low as possible.
Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clear
Next up is some maintenance outside. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear prevents damage from rainwater.
The idea behind these fixtures is to keep water from building up on your roof. When that happens, eventually it will wear down the roofing and find any path in. The more water, the more pressure, which makes things worse.
Then, you get the problem of water running down the side of your house. If there’s a steady stream for long enough, it starts coming in through the walls.
People don’t immediately consider this as “flooding,” although they’re certainly aware of how having all that extra moisture can result in damage or mold.
Consider what happens if a hole in the roof gets bad enough that more and more water starts coming in. When you’re not there for months, you can end up with a lot of water and a lot of damage.
Have a Pro Winterize Your Home
One of the best ways to be sure your home won’t get flooded is to get rid of all the water inside of it before you close up shop after Labor Day. Yes, turning off the main and turning down the gas water heater are great first steps. But you can go further.
At Broadley’s, our winterization package includes bleeding every water line in your house. That does even more than get rid of, say, the water in the toilets.
It also accounts for any water in the lines leading to the dishwasher or washing machine, for instance. We also seal off any house spigots and other outdoor fixtures.
The threat we’re protecting against here is frozen pipes. When water inside the pipes freeze, they can eventually cause them to burst. If your water main is on, that can mean dozens of gallons of water pouring into your home— every minute!
Even with the main off, you’ll get the best peace of mind knowing there’s no water anywhere.
Use Flood Monitoring Devices
Following all these steps drastically reduces the chance of flooding and water damage in your home. But, nothing’s 100 percent. And, the stakes are higher when you’re away from the house for months at a time.
So, the next best thing to being there and catching a small problem before it gets bigger is getting alerted as soon as something’s wrong.
At Broadley’s, we’ve been working with Alert Labs products, and people have loved them. So, we’re recommending them to anyone concerned about these kinds of problems.
In particular, you can get monitors to place next to water heaters or anywhere in the house. If there’s water getting in anywhere (or getting out of an appliance), they’ll send an alert right to your smart device.
That way, if you need an emergency plumber, you’ll know right away. If you’re set up with a company like us, we can get over there quickly without you having to waste hours (or more) getting down here to see what’s happening.
Plumbing Service in Avalon, NJ
You can call Broadley’s for any plumbing service you need in Avalon, Ocean City, Marmora, or anywhere in Cape May and Atlantic Counties. Along with emergency plumbing calls, we handle winterization services and repairs. We also work with ServePro locally to handle any large-scale flood restoration.
But, if you follow these tips, it’s very unlikely things will get that bad. Instead, call or email us today, and we’ll help you make your shore home as safe and damage-proof as possible for the months ahead.