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This is the single most important thing you can do to secure your home before you go on vacation.

You have thought of everything … an extra bikini in your carry on, snacks and magazines. You’ve left your contact information with your in-laws, you have your passport, sunglasses and flip flops. You’re all set! You lock the door and walk out to your Uber with a spring in your step because it’s minus 15 degrees outside and you’re heading off to warm sand and sunny beaches.

When return home from your trip, you wrap yourself up in your sweater and sneakers, and make your way back home from your flight. It will be so great to sleep in my own bed, you think to yourself, even though you already miss the late night margarita and the sound of the surf.

As you pay for your cab and head up the front steps to your home, you notice something strange. The snow around your basement windows has melted. It’s slushy in fact and there is a trickle of water running out of your window making a small river on your lawn.

Just then, it hits you. Your basement is completely flooded.

One by one, thoughts fly into your mind… your washing machine, your furnace, your carpet, your walls, your couch and your entertainment system. They are all destroyed.
How could you have avoided this situation?

We spoke to Jon, who provides HVAC and water heater rentals. He’s an installer for Summitt Home Services and he has witnessed this kind of damage before. He also recognizes that “It’s devastating to come back from a trip and find a flood in your house, even more so when you know you could have prevented it.”

There is one simple thing you can do to secure your home before you go on vacation and that is turn off the water flow to your hot water heater. Should your water tank leak, the water will run out of it and you will have only a minor flood, but if you leave the water valve open, city water will continue to flow into your basement until someone turns it off, and as Jon knows, that can be devastating for the homeowner.

Don’t be an accidental flood victim, turn off the water supply to your hot water tank before you leave for an extended period of time.