WINTERIZING--what does it mean? - Posted by AnnNC

Posted by David Krulac on November 17, 2000 at 19:34:08:

it doesn’t mean don’t buy, it just means buy smartly.
Around here the electric utility uses a different color
wire tab on the meters that are turned off. So from 50 feet awat you can tell if the power company shut the electricity off. Electric/gas/water companies usually will tell when the last time utilities were turned on. The electric company here has a rule that if the power was off for more than a year, the new power customer/owner must have a third party inspection before the electricity will resume. Since they have that rule they must tell you when (more than a year) you need the inspection.
Water leaks can be hard to detect. Look for puddles, water stains, etc. Look inside the boiler cabinet, if the boiler is leaking, there may be rust on the chamber from a leak.
If there is reason to believe that there is freeze damage, factor it into your purchase price. Don’t assume that the mechanicals work, assume the worst and there’s less chance of getting burnt.
Sometimes it may pay to have the utilities turned on for a day or two at your costs to have your or a professional inspection, then turn the utilities back off. It will cost you a few bucks, but could arm you with information that no other bidder has. And after all isn’t real estate an information business?

WINTERIZING–what does it mean? - Posted by AnnNC

Posted by AnnNC on November 17, 2000 at 05:20:14:

I saw this term in an earlier post, someone mentioned having a company come in and “winterize” a vacant house and put a sticker on the window. I’m looking at several vacant houses, what do I need to know?
Thanks, Ann

Thanks to all! I had no idea!/nt - Posted by AnnNC

Posted by AnnNC on November 18, 2000 at 14:23:32:


winterize - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on November 17, 2000 at 19:48:42:

besides turning off the water and draining the lines, blowing out the lines with compressed air is a good move. all drains and traps including toilet bowls should be filled with RV antifreeze, not car antifreeze. RV antifreeze is non toxic and usually cheaper

For REOs & REPOs… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on November 17, 2000 at 13:31:27:

the telling question besides IF is is winterized but also when. In cold, freeze areas of the country foreclosed houses are often vacant for a year or more, which can cover not only the current winter but also LAST winter. If the house was winterized this fal but was empty last winter the damage may already be done.

Particukarily susceptable are houses with hot water heat. I’ve seen houses where all the baseboard hot water units (cast iron) were cracked by freezing water and the boiler itself was cracked. This could cost $5,000 or more to replace. Often times toilets are cracked or the seal between the toilet and flange is broken and water has leaked into the floor, causing other damage. Many times the REOs and REPOs are sold with the utilities off and you must be cautious and inspect the mechanicals thoroughly,

Re: WINTERIZING - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on November 17, 2000 at 07:37:12:

If you were going to shut the heat off to a house then you would want to ?winterize? it. Pretty common in REO?s around here?.but not necessarily done on privately owned houses. For example, a house vacated by someone in foreclosure may have the heat shut off, but they may not have winterized it due to negligence.

The idea is that with the heat off water freezes?.damaging water pipes, drain lines, etc. When the water thaws in the springtime it could create other water damage in the house coming from ruptured pipes or lines.

Winterizing to me would me shutting the water off at the main coming into the house. Then the water pipes should be drained by opening up the faucets?.and perhaps sometimes by breaking a joint in the water pipe near the main shut off valve causing the water to drain there. You?d want to drain the hot water heater, and any hoses that would hold water, like the dishwasher, etc. Toilets should be flushed, and excess water removed from the tank. Antifreeze should be inserted in the toilets and sinks so that the traps probably containing water are protected.

Again, I?d say that winterizing is probably a standard type of procedure for most REO?s. I?d say that other types of vacant houses may not have been winterized, and that therefore you run the risk of some damage to the water pipes and drain lines.


Re: WINTERIZING–what does it mean? - Posted by ken in sc

Posted by ken in sc on November 17, 2000 at 07:28:43:

Turning off the water and draining all the water out of appliances, hot water heater etc. so they won’t freeze/burst due to the power and thus heat being off. Basically, shutting the house down with no power in a safe way.

Re: For REOs & REPOs… - Posted by AnnNC

Posted by AnnNC on November 17, 2000 at 17:51:48:

Thanks for that scare… brings to mind a question,
how would you know if a house had been vacant a long time. Utility records are not public, I guess. Is there a way to verify? Or, if it is REO, can the utility company tell you when utilities were last turned on, and not name the person? Just wondering. I could
call locally–gee what a concept! Just never thought of
it. Let’s say the former tenant was not evicted, just
moved, and no subsequent tenant came in…how to tell?
In my state, there are personal property taxes that show up on the “tax rolls” so that a property address which was the location of registered address of the car, owned by a tenant, would show up in a name search, and it would look like the person owned the house, if you didn’t
know the search system well enough. I dont’ know if that is a way…

Alrightythen, how to inspect the mechanicals? Are we
thinking checking for water leaks with the water off…
or…just looking for evidence of water damage on the
Thanks-great response. Glad I asked! Ann