Busted Frozen Pipes
Winterizing Your Vacant Home For The Winter
If you or a client has a vacant home or summer vacation property on the market this winter, careful decisions need to be made to prevent expensive repairs from frozen plumbing. Last spring we inspected an unusually high number of homes with damaged plumbing (or worse) due to lack of, or improper winterization. One client spent well over $3,000 on plumbing repairs, and then more to repair the walls, ceiling, and flooring that were damaged by water and the process of replacing the pipes. To Winterize, or Not To Winterize?
The simplest solution and least risky alternative to winterizing is to leave the heating system running at a minimum setting (with the water turned off of course). Though it might seem like a waste of money or energy at first glance, a minimal heating bill will be less expensive than the cost of potential repairs if everything were to freeze up. Also, the rigors of extreme winter temperatures and low humidity in a winterized home stress the interior of the house and the appliances. Wood trim and furniture dry out, and seals in appliances can dry and crack.
As a side note, it is always prudent to turn off the main water supply or well pump whenever you will be gone from the home for even a day or two. On properties with a well, a major leak can cause the well pump to simply run itself to death in your absence, also causing significant water damage.
Also consider that if the house is on the market, a cold house will not show well. When a buyer does come along, it will also need to be de-winterized before a home inspection can be performed (we know that you will of course want to have the house inspected by us!). Extra cost, more delays. On the other hand, exposed plumbing in some crawlspaces, or plumbing in homes with no central heating may be at risk. Some vacation homes were just not built for winter. In the case of older homes that are poorly insulated and/or unevenly heated (or just poorly constructed homes), then winterization may be the safest bet. Who Should Do the Winterization?
It is true that many homes are winterized every year without problem,
usually by the owner or a convenient handyman. However, big repairs
bills may result if it is done only half way, or improperly. If a
house is to be winterized, we suggest that it done by a professional
When returning to occupy the house, the entire process must be carefully reversed (de-winterized), such as turning off faucets and fixture shut off valves before turning the water supply or well pump (otherwise you can be in for a rude surprise).
This article posted by JeyGetzMissoula.com