What's scarier than a haunted house? How about a holiday home with water damage?
After the lofty days of summer, this is typically a time of year when holiday homes across the country aren't in full use. You might only venture down the odd weekend or leave it until Christmas to go back and relax. During that time, while the house is empty, you don't want there to be any horrors or shocks that could be easily avoided or fixed. That goes especially for leaks and water damage.
So how to avoid such horrors, or have something in place if you find water damage at your holiday homes over the next few months? Here's what to consider.
A Drip That Can Cause Scares
As the weather changes in the colder months, the risk of burst pipes and water damage increases. There's a common misconception that having someone to check in on the house and run the water periodically will prevent problems, but Irish Water says that "[anyone] leaving [a] property unattended for an extended period…may wish to shut off the water supply… from the external stopcock."
Have the notion or remind yourself, when leaving a holiday home, to go around and check taps are off, and anything reliant on water is shut off too (think the likes of the fridge in the kitchen if it has an ice maker etc.).
If you're keen to prevent any bursts, read our handy guide featuring Six Steps to Protect your Home Against Leaks & Water Damage. If you already have a dripping tap you would rather isn't left unattended, have the mains turned off. Dripping taps are usually due to washers in the tap mechanism wearing down, or if it's the likes of a double mixer tap, one of the cartridges might need replaced.
It's coming from upstairs!
Like that moment in a scary movie where someone realises the phone call is coming from inside the house, if you come home to find there's been a leak from your tap, shower, or a pipe upstairs, you're not only looking at the cost of getting that fixed. There's also a possibility you're looking at works needing done to repair part of the ceiling.
If it is the case where only a small bit of the ceiling needs patched up and repaired, a tradesperson might charge you around €200-€350. If you've unfortunately come home to significant water damage and an extensive section of plasterboard needs fully replaced with the affected area needing dried out and such, the cost can sit anywhere around the €1,000+ mark (obviously, size, location, material, and additional features will affect cost).
And if the drip has damaged items in a room, be sure you already have contents insurance in place. That goes double if you use the holiday home to keep Christmas presents hidden away (Christmas gifts cover is one of the benefits our members can avail of).
Don't want to be horrified by holiday home woes? The AA can help!
Our holiday home Insurance members are thankfully covered when the likes of leaks and water damage happen, with up to €750 for trace & access. You can learn more about the advantages of using The AA for holiday home insurance here.
If you do typically head to a holiday home for a few days over Christmas, don't go leaving your main home unsafe. Read our guide showcasing 5 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe from Burglary This Winter.