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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default This Property Has Been Winterized

    Nah.....not really. That's just what they want you to believe.









    Inspection Referral SOC
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lancaster, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    Too funny. Makes ya wonder, of all the $$ that gets spent POORLY WINTERIZING these places and then the $$$$$$$ it costs to repair the damage from said winterizing...

    Wouldn't the banks/whomever have saved $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by simply turning water off, leaving heat on and inspecting weekly anyway?

    The sign in sheets on these places usually show pretty regular activity, even when winterized.

    Oh... and what's funnier, the "clean up" that the moron field service people do when a few inches of water is found, the field service people or their contractors then restored and fresh paint is on the walls when you arrive at the inspection, like you'll never notice.

    Ever notice the field contractors are always located 2 hours from wherever it is the jobsite is at?

    I've got some IR pics of areas where there is what I initially thought to be cold air or reflection from tile or whatever, only to use Moisture Meter and find out that

    • The property had been flooded two weeks before (sometime between offer acceptance and day of inspection)
    • Only small little stupid 1" holes were drilled to dry wall areas
    • The buyer wouldn't have found out (assumed) unless we were there... banks don't have to disclose or some garbage.


    The terrible winterizing jobs here in SoCal also seem to give a beating to plumbing components etc

    Great pics!!!!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Circle, MT
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    The company I've done winterizations for are a little more thorough. I take my generator, air compressor and several gallons of RV antifreeze. Pictures are required of antifreeze being poured into every toilet tank and every trap. Pictures also of 60 psi (air) applied to water lines to blow them out. It doesn't appear as though THAT contractor did any of that. I went to one where the boiler hadn't been drained. Cast iron boiler was split open as were as most radiators.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    I had one two weeks ago where the antifreeze in the toilets had froze and cracked them. No heat in the house and the indoor temp was 15 below zero. I was there about 5 minutes, called the buyer and told them I wouldn't be doing the inspection until the heat was on in the house.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    I hate doing inspections on homes that have been winterized. Seams everything leaks after they turn the water back on...and that is if they finally show up to turn on the water when they are going to.
    These are usually the foreclosures (already trashed) and it seams the banks sit on the vacant home for several months before they get listed and seals dry out....I wish there was an easy way just to add $50-$100 to homes that are bank owned.
    Not sure if it is the same where you guys are but I'll bet it takes an extra hour on site with these homes an then another extra hour writing up the report on these.


  6. #6

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    Our coldest inspection was a -15F inside the house (Wadena, MN). Bank owned, badly damaged hydronic heating system burst radiators and the suspicion of a burst boiler. This was one of several similar inspections over the last few years. Always foreclosures/bank owned. It seems like they are always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to winterizing.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lombard, Illinois
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Morrison View Post
    I hate doing inspections on homes that have been winterized. Seams everything leaks after they turn the water back on...and that is if they finally show up to turn on the water when they are going to.
    These are usually the foreclosures (already trashed) and it seams the banks sit on the vacant home for several months before they get listed and seals dry out....I wish there was an easy way just to add $50-$100 to homes that are bank owned.
    Not sure if it is the same where you guys are but I'll bet it takes an extra hour on site with these homes an then another extra hour writing up the report on these.
    Larry, Agree 100%. Also those doing winterization are they carrying liability insurance in case something goes wrong? Like what happen to me. I've started to do winterization for banks and stopped when my Insurance company wouldn't cover me for that type of work. even when its don't right, thing can still go wrong. i.e. I did one last winter, bleed the line drained everything and added marine anti freeze to the washer and dishwasher. ran them to get fluid in the lines etc.Even shut the water of at both the home and street. Guess what, the water meter crack and cost me $450.00. So bottom line I don't do them any more. Any thoughts from does that are still doing winterizing?

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Larry, Agree 100%. Also those doing winterization are they carrying liability insurance in case something goes wrong? Like what happen to me. I've started to do winterization for banks and stopped when my Insurance company wouldn't cover me for that type of work. even when its don't right, thing can still go wrong. i.e. I did one last winter, bleed the line drained everything and added marine anti freeze to the washer and dishwasher. ran them to get fluid in the lines etc.Even shut the water of at both the home and street. Guess what, the water meter crack and cost me $450.00. So bottom line I don't do them any more. Any thoughts from does that are still doing winterizing?
    I just have to fight the erg to do a good/real inspection.
    Or what I'm saying is that I will not turn on or off any valves/meters. I figure they should know what a Home Inspector can and can't do. If they are going to winterize the place, I feel it is their responsibility to completely get it ready for an inspection. That would include water on and hopefully all the air and anti-freeze out of the lines, water heaters (filled) back on including the breaker on and or pilot lit. It is also their responsibility to come back and turn things off and winterize the place.

    Flipping breakers, turning on water or lighting pilot lights is just filled with liability. I treat those kind of things as "someone has them off for a reason, and only they know what that reason is"
    In my General Section of my report, where normally is listed things like temperature, weather conditions, type of home I have a heading " OTHER: conditions affecting or limiting the inspection." This is where I put canned statements such as...Electric off during inspection, Water turn off, Gas service off, pilot lights not lit...And also Winterized has been added. Then I can also add miscellaneous, like "Breaker for Water heater (heating unit, A/C...etc.) Off at panel. I could not fully inspect the unit(s)"


    I have also been to an inspection where the guy was supposed to de-winterize before I got there but either showed up late or fighting the same problems trying to get it ready for me (leaks all over the place). Also FHA requires a functional water heater...and I have found more than one (electric unit) disconnected....and the buyer needs me to go back after it is hooked up to check it


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Timmins
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Larry, Agree 100%. Also those doing winterization are they carrying liability insurance in case something goes wrong? Like what happen to me. I've started to do winterization for banks and stopped when my Insurance company wouldn't cover me for that type of work. even when its don't right, thing can still go wrong. i.e. I did one last winter, bleed the line drained everything and added marine anti freeze to the washer and dishwasher. ran them to get fluid in the lines etc.Even shut the water of at both the home and street. Guess what, the water meter crack and cost me $450.00. So bottom line I don't do them any more. Any thoughts from does that are still doing winterizing?
    I have been working for Banks and other Financial institutions for just over 10 years now. Winterizing is part of the work I'm assigned. Living in the north, winterizing is a common thing here, so you would think. I have come across many homes in my career where they were "so called" winterized but were far from it. A lot of people, including property managers, close the main water valve, then open all the faucets. There you go "house is winterize" ALL homes I winterize require insulation. Except for a few exceptions the steps I follow are normally like this;
    - shut off main valve
    - drain hot water heater (NOTE: gas or hydro OFF)
    - open faucets (leave open)
    - open (lowest) bleed valve (hopefully at main water valve)
    - insulate main line pass the valve and as high as the last pipe containing water.
    - insulate the few items that may hold water, such as meters etc....
    - plumbing anti-freeze in very "P" trap & toilet bowl
    Some have used vegetable oil instead of anti-freeze, they say it won't evaporate as fast, I tried it but personally I don't like it.
    If a person is going to do this regularly I recommend learning how to use a compressor to blow the lines but this is something I rarely need to do. Examples where I'd do these are in very large homes or homes where there's long lengths of sagging pipes.
    I'm not sure how your banks work but here, I tell them, for example; they need a bleeder at the main valve and/or proper supports for the sagging pipes etc... They send the work order and this way it makes it a lot easier for the next guy to winterize. Also having this understanding with the banks my insurance never questions me.
    And remember, don't panic when you see frozen plumbing, there is no problem with frozen pipes it's when they thaw that it becomes a problem.
    There are more steps in winterizing homes with boilers but for now I hope this helps.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert View Post
    .....And remember, don't panic when you see frozen plumbing, there is no problem with frozen pipes it's when they thaw that it becomes a problem.
    I just have to add this.... I was working at an office where they had an equipment building remote from the main building, and it had some offices for the personal to do their work. After a really cold period of time the temperature finally started going up. Apparently the sprinkler lines were not fully insulated. This guy was sitting at his desk when the sprinkler head and about 3' of pipe came down, crashed on the desk, followed by enough water to clear the desk and toss him out of his chair!!!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    My inspection of a bank owned property today was canceled for the 3rd time. So three times I have had this inspection on my calendar only to have it cancel a day or two before the inspection. The 1st time there was 5" of water in the basement due to all utilities being off and no power to the sump pump. The 2nd time, the gas still was not on. This time, the company who dewinterized the house said there is a leak that will take some time to fix. Luckily, all cancellations took place a day or two before the inspection and I never had to leave the house. But at least one of these canceled bookings cost me another job. Time to cut the chord on this one.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: This Property Has Been Winterized

    I won't even schedule an inspection until I get confirmation that all utilities are on. I refuse to perform inspections until all the utilities are on. I've done them in the past, but not any more.

    Several years ago, when I worked for someone else, I did an inspection of an old duplex; winterized, gas meter and electric meter locked. 90% of the windows were broken out and it was -20 degrees outside. Cold weather fried my computer.

    Several years ago, when I worked for someone else, I did an inspection on a winterized house. I advised the client against it, he insisted. I disclaimed all the plumbing. The client understood this. The day he closed I got a call that every pipe in the house was split from freeze damage and he wanted to know what I was going to do about it. I told him "nothing". I told you so.

    Life's too short. Get the utilities on or find someone else. It's in the client's best interest.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

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