Top 10 Disasters That Can Occur While You're on Vacation
When you’re not home, your house instantly becomes more vulnerable to disasters. And, when you’re away for an extended period of time—say, for a week-long vacation at the beach—that risk is compounded even further.
While there are some measures you can take to help mitigate this risk, disasters can strike at any time and for a multitude of reasons. In this blog post, we’re going to examine the top ten disasters that can occur while you’re away on vacation.
Disaster #1: A House Fire
This could be the most commonly feared disaster among them all. More than ¼ of all reported structure fires involve residential buildings like single-family homes and duplexes.
The causes of house fires vary widely. Anything from an unattended candle to a lightning strike can start a house fire. This is why it’s especially important to complete a comprehensive inspection of your home, looking for things like activated appliances or exposed flammables, before locking the front door and heading out for your vacation.
Disaster #2: Burglary
Forced entry by a thief is, unfortunately, a risk for anyone living virtually anywhere in the US. When you’re gone on vacation and a thief sets his sights on your home, there had better be some defense mechanisms in place, or else you could be greeted by an empty home upon your return.
Disaster #3: A Landslide
Wherever there is heavy rain combined with loose, sloping ground, landslides will be an inevitability. Thankfully, landslides that damage residential buildings are fairly rare in the United States, but they do happen.
Disaster #4: A Mold Invasion
Returning from a long, restful vacation is one of the most inconvenient times to learn that you have a mold problem. The reality is that mold can overtake entire areas of a home if it is left untreated.
Disaster #5: An Unwanted Guest Invasion (rodents, bats, etc.)
While you were out catching some rays on that beach in Florida, a colony of bats decided to post up in your attic. Now, there’s guano everywhere and remediation is required to get things back to normal.
Alternatively, word among rats spread that your house was warm and empty. So, they moved in and started chewing the place up. Both of these scenarios are very real possibilities when a home is left unattended for a long stretch of time.
Disaster #6: Falling Debris Strikes the Home
Tree branches. Blown over telephone or utility poles. An especially heavy hail storm.
All of these things can seriously damage a home. The good news is that falling debris is covered by most homeowners insurance policies, but it’s probably worthwhile to double-check before starting your vacation.
Disaster #7: Flooding
Flooding is absolutely catastrophic for most buildings. The reason is because flood water is never just water—it brings in pathogens and detritus from everything it has come into contact with. This leaves flood-affected buildings in a state of significant disrepair. What’s more, flood insurance coverage is rarely ever included with most homeowners insurance policies, leaving many homeowners ‘up a creek’ after a flood (no pun intended).
Disaster #8: A Burst Water Heater
Most water heaters that are installed in single-family homes hold at least 40 gallons of water in them. Older water heaters that might have compromised internal components can burst, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere.
If this happens while you’re away, the resulting water damage can compound for every day it is left unresolved.
Disaster #9: The Lawn or Garden Dies
While this may not seem like a disaster per se, it can be if your lawn or garden involves a significant investment of your time and money. Bringing a lawn or garden back to life after it has died off completely can take months.
Disaster #10: Vandalism
Wherever there are criminals with too much time on their hands, there is likely to be vandalism. This can take the form of destroyed mailboxes, graffiti-painted siding, and broken windows or other structural damage. It’s hard to protect yourself against this kind of disaster—it’s best to know what you’ll do after it happens instead of trying to avoid it altogether.
Vacations should be restful, enjoyable, and relaxing. You shouldn’t have to worry about what’s going on back home. If disaster does strike, however, and you need help restoring your home to the condition it was in before you went on vacation, contact SERVPRO of Denver West. We know disaster recovery.
Now get out there and enjoy your vacation!