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Kathy S. Koops GRI

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Frozen Pipes and Other Cold Weather Surprises

filed under: Informational posted on October 20th, 2011

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” was written by Frank Loesser back in 1936 and the lyrics still ring true in greater Cincinnati today.The current chilly weather has a lot of scrambling to find heavier clothing and cranking up the thermostat to stay warm.  By the weekend the temps should go up and then we’ll delay getting prepping the house for winter.

As you know winter can be hard on houses- but if you develop a “to do” list and stick with it each year prepping your home for winter really doesn’t take much time.

  1. Detach hoses and if you don’t have the type of outdoor faucets that protect against freezing- turn the water off to the outdoor faucets and drain.
  2. Check and repair caulking around windows and doors.
  3. Remove and store any unneeded window screens.  I like to open a few windows in winter- so those screens remain.
  4. After the leaves fall (unless you have a Bradford Pear tree which waits until Thanksgiving before shedding leaves) clean the gutters.
  5. Find the snow shovel and tune up the snow blower.
  6. After the last lawn mowing -run the gas out of the power mower.
  7. Routine maintenance on furnace and heat pumps. (more details on this in future blog)
  8. Buy a bag of something that melts ice- because you know the 1st time there’s a freeze…you won’t be able to drive to the store.
  9. Check fireplace and if you have a gas starter that hasn’t been used in a long time or was acting funny at the end of last season- get it checked by a professional.   Also, does the chimney need to be cleaned?
  10. If your property is vacant- get it winterized.  This is normally done by a plumber but I have seen some do-it-yourself jobs that also worked.  Even if you are keeping the heat at a decent temperature, unused water pipes have a way of doing nasty things in the winter.  It’s best to winterize and avoid surprises.
  11. Finally if your property is vacant and not handled by a relocation company- check to make sure homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage that occurs during vacancy.  Many policies do not cover empty homes and condos.

“Baby” we need to keep the cold outside in winter to protect our property- nobody wants to have busted pipes, broken furnaces or a chimney that spews smoke into the family room.  Schedule a day to “winterize” your property soon.  If you need the name of vendors or would like to add some suggestions- just let me know.

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