Anytime the weather hits the teens I know I will be getting a text from Tim Pryor with a cold weather saying. This morning he reported it is “colder than well diggers a!@#$ in Alaska”. And while I have never been to Alaska and don’t dig wells, I am sure that he speaks the truth. The cold weather has a way of drawing the breath out of me simply stepping from my car to the warmth of the office. How do our inspectors even function in this cold? And how does the cold weather affect your inspection?
“It was so cold we had to wear so many layers of clothing that if you fell down, you just had to stay there until somebody found you and rolled you home.”
For our inspectors, keeping warm and preventing frost bite, begins with layers-thick socks, hand warmers, boot warmers, insulated coveralls, and hats of all sorts. Some floppy, some furry, some covering all but the whites of their eyes. Still, it is possible to perform a home inspection- even with snow and ice, but here are a couple things to keep in mind.
Air Conditioning Systems
The main obstacle in reviewing the A/C is the outdoor temperature. Inspectors should not operate an a/c unit (or heat pump in the cooling mode) when the outdoor temperature is below about 60°F or risk damaging or “slugging” the compressor. In winter months it is always a good idea to purchase a Home Warranty. That way if the A/C unit doesn’t work come summertime, the Home Warranty will make the necessary repairs to the unit.
“It was so cold the optician was giving away free ice scrapers with every new pair of eyeglasses.”
Roofs can be costly to replace or even to repair. The challenge is that in the winter, the roof can be snow and ice covered making it hard to see and unsafe to walk. In winter, inspecting from a ladder presents its own hazards. Cold weather can create uneven surfaces due to an accumulation of ice and snow on the ground. Uneven ground is one of the worst places you can place a ladder because it creates the potential of the ladder tipping over when you’re climbing it.
“It was so cold my shadow froze to the ground.”
Pipes, and Windows
Extreme weather can cause all kinds of stress and damage to a home, and often, that damage isn’t revealed until temperatures warm up. A frozen pipe can hide potential leaking problems you’ll have down the road or crack, leading to new leaks. Further, we often find frozen windows caused when rain gets in the window track and freezes, that are hard to open and close.
“It was so cold Jack Frost changed his name to Jack Froze”
The Good News
When the temperature drops like it has it makes us say the words it’s so cold to almost everyone we see. The good news is that spring will be here in 50 days and when you choose Mirowski Inspections, you are selecting a team who is prepared for you no matter the temperature.