Hardly ones know how costly water damage might be until face one. Numbers tell us 40% of home insurance claims are due to water damage.
( Data from Aviva Canada Inc., Insurance company).
There are many ways water could create trouble to the homeowners: plumbing pipe burst, basement drain backup, or sump pump failure.
Not always it is unpredictable, sometimes it is neglected!
Shut off water supply first. You could do that by turning off shut off valve, turn the valve in the clockwise direction. Shut off valve usually located in the basement near the ceiling or ground level of the house, if you know where outside hose bib is located it should be somewhere close to that spot but inside of the house.
We also recommend always drain your pipes before winter whether it is your house or cottage. If the water is not drained from the pipe; as you remember from the school program when the temperatures hit freezing point water freezes and expand. So, that may cause a pipe to burst. Even if it didn't burst it causes damages to the pipes and even your garden hose. Remember to do that simple thing and you won't have to do repairing or replacing a few months later!
Another advice is to leave you outside tap open during winter time. If it is a cottage, or you do not plan to use the property as your residence at winter; we also recommend leave outside and inside plumbing fixtures open starting from the upper level and end opening lower level faucets/ taps in the property.
In case the property is not resided during winter months also dont forget to flush down all the water from the toilets, and shut off water supply before doing so. We also recommend to add some plumbing antifreeze which you could find in plumbing store.
If you going to be away for a long time we recommend also empty water using supplies: washing machine, diswasher, fridge with water dispenser or water heater.