Winter weather can cause damage to homes not properly prepared for adverse conditions. Dwellworks’ winterization program is in place to educate transferees of the preparations needed to reduce and/or alleviate winter-related property damage and risk. In addition to property damage, inconvenienced tenants, and added stress for the employee on assignment, there is a potential for costly, unplanned repairs.
The scope of work for winterization addresses multiple risks and preventative measures, and includes tasks as simple as gutter cleaning and HVAC maintenance, to more complex actions such as surveying erosion in preparation for El Niño storms or ensuring that water is drained from all plumbing lines to prevent freezing. We provide the following information to our homeowners to help aid in their winterization related decisions:
HVAC/Furnace Servicing – Before fall weather, it’s smart to make an appointment for your furnace’s annual checkup. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, a system can wear itself out quickly, pump carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working. Whatever type of system, don’t wait until it breaks down to call for service. A clean, well-adjusted heating system will save you money on fuel and prolong furnace life.
Interior Pipes Winterized (total water shut off, lines blown out) – The most thorough winterization is usually reserved for vacant homes and depending on location, may include draining all interior water lines, pressure testing the system for possible leaks, cleaning and winterizing all toilets and tanks, adding antifreeze to all sink drains, traps, and toilets, firmly securing the main water line in the “off” position with zip-ties and posting notice stickers on all winterized fixtures and wraps on all winterized toilets. The process is then reversed in the spring, as well as for any period during the winter when anyone may be living in your home.
Gutter Cleaning – Keeping gutters clean and free of debris will reduce misdirected water, which can cause damage to your home over time, including rotting fascia boards, flooded basements, deteriorating landscaping, and even foundation problems.
Exterior Spigots – Winter temperatures can freeze the water that is trapped in the outside spigots and pipe connections. In some cases, this can damage the faucet or cause the pipe to burst in the wall. Turning off the water supply to your outside spigots is the best way to prevent this problem.
Irrigation System – Without proper preparation, your sprinkler system might be damaged by freezing temperatures. This typically involves removing the water from the pipes and sprinklers so that it won’t freeze/expand too much and break the pipe. With some home irrigation systems, you probably wouldn’t know that you had any pipe damage until it was turned on for the first spring watering.
Pool/Spa Shut Down - Part of maintaining a swimming pool, spa, or hot tub includes preparing it for those months when you won’t be using it. Properly winterizing your pool or spa will protect your equipment from ice damage, keep your water clean, and will help save time and money when reopening in the spring.
These are just some of the essentials of preparing your home for the harsh winter months. Dwellworks has a detailed winterization process in place to help our homeowners prevent major issues from occurring during cold weather season. For more information on the Dwellworks winterization process, visit the Home Management page of our website.