Pranil Mudaliar, CMI
780.243.0121 or 1.877.820.0121
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Home Winterization

Winterization is the process of preparing a home for the harsh conditions of winter. It is usually performed in the fall before snow and excessive cold have arrived. Winterization protects against damage due to bursting water pipes, and from heat loss due to openings in the building envelope. Inspectors should know how winterization works and be able to pass this information on to their clients

Plumbing System
Water damage caused by bursting pipes during cold weather can be devastating. A ruptured pipe will release water and not stop until someone shuts off the water. If no one is home to do this, an enormous quantity of water can flood a house and cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage. Even during very small ruptures or ruptures that are stopped quickly, water leakage can result in mold and property damage. Broken water pipes can be costly to repair.

Leaks in the Building Envelope
Leaky window frames, door frames, and electrical outlets can allow warm air to escape into the outdoors.

Insulation
Because hot air rises into the attic, a disproportionately larger amount of heat is lost there than in other parts of the house. Like a winter hat that keeps a head warm, adequate attic insulation will prevent warm indoor air from escaping. Attic insulation should be 12 inches thick in cold climates.

Heating Systems
The heating system is used most during the winter so it 's a good idea to make sure that it works before it's desperately needed. The following inspection and maintenance tips can be of some help to homeowners:

Cooling Systems

Chimneys and Fireplaces

Roofs

Landscape

Summer Homes and Rental Properties
Adequate winterization is especially crucial for homes that are left unoccupied during the winter. This sometimes happens when homeowners who own multiple properties leave one home vacant for months at a time while they occupy their summer homes. Foreclosed homes are sometimes left unoccupied, as well. The heat may be shut off in vacant homes in order to save money. Such homes must be winterized in order to prevent catastrophic building damage.

In addition to the information above, Top Quality Inspections Inc. and InterNACHI advise the following measures to prepare an unoccupied home for the winter:

In summary, home winterization is a collection of preventative measures designed to protect homes against damage caused by cold temperatures. These measures should be performed in the fall, before it gets cold enough for damage to occur. Indoor plumbing is probably the most critical area to consider when preparing a home for winter, although other systems should not be ignored.