Why should you winterize your vacant property?
January, 3, 2017
With winter here, it is important to start preparing to winterize vacant rental properties. This process should begin before temperatures start to drop; once the temperature of the pipes drops below 32 degrees, your property is at risk for winter damage.
Vacant properties are winterized to avoid damage caused by changes in temperature. In a vacant property, water remains motionless due to the lack of activity in the property: no showering, flushing toilets, washing dishes, etc. When this motionless water freezes and becomes ice, it expands. This expansion of water is likely to cause the pipe it is located in to crack. If a pipe cracks, or fully breaks, the damage that can occur can be very costly and repairs can be extremely time consuming.
Pipe breakage becomes noticeable once temperatures begin to rise and the ice inside the pipes thaws. The water will then leak through the cracked or broken pipes, filling your ceilings and floors. In vacant houses, this destruction can go unnoticed for months, and damage can continue to worsen.
During winterization, the water is shut off, faucets are fully opened and drained, toilets are flushed, the water heater is drained and the gas is shut off at the water heater, air is blown into pipes to force the water out, and Anti-Freeze (not the kind for cars, a special kind that is non-toxic) is poured into drains, toilets, etc.
Winterization usually costs between $150 and $250, but paying to take these preventative measures will be well worth avoiding the mass amounts of damage that cracked pipes can cause.
If your property is currently managed by Cherry Hill Real Estate, be sure to confirm the Winterization Fee to make sure measures are being taken to protect your vacant property this winter!