The Home Property Watch Team spent the morning stuffing contracts into envelopes. It brought us together as a team, our first unofficial meeting of the inspection season that is now upon us. We laughed a lot (as we usually do), reliving the past winter’s challenges. It is always a wonder what time can do — as I said, we were laughing! But it also got us talking of what a harsh winter really means. We are hoping that we do not experience another winter like last year. But we can do more than hope, we (and our customers) can be prepared and ready.
This is the perfect time of year to start planning for a potentially difficult winter. As inspectors, we will be taking a proactive approach by notifying customers of any potential problems we encounter. One item we will be paying close attention to is gas vents, their location and making sure they are clearly marked. We will recommend that a sign is put on the home identifying the location. We will be staking propane tanks that are located in the yards as well. This proved to be a challenging problem last winter when checking fuel levels.
Home Watch customers can also play an active role in winter preparation. Make sure we have all pertinent information for the management of your home. You will receive an information sheet with your contract, please correct this and update it as necessary. Having this information allows us to move forward efficiently by making decisions that may be time sensitive. This is also the time of year to touch base with your fuel delivery company, making sure you are on auto delivery. We understand that most homeowners do not want to pay for a plowing service when they are not using their home, but if you rely on fuel delivery, we strongly suggest you identify someone to plow when needed (perhaps your landscaper).
Lastly, I would like to address some plumbing considerations. For those of you who have forced hot water heater systems, and you leave your heat on during the winter, we are recommending that you introduce anti–freeze into your heat piping. Last winter we had a number of heat pipes that froze on exterior walls, causing water damage and breaks in pipes. By introducing anti-freeze into the system, it virtually eliminates this potential problem. If you don’t visit your home in the winter months at all, consider draining your home and closing it up completely. This eliminates many potential problems and costs — you will not have to worry about power outages and heat going off… There is no chance of frozen pipes and water damage… These potential choices are not without cost. But the cost of home with water damage is greater — financially and emotionally.
Our summer is now complete and we will miss it. Fall is here, and (I think) the best season on the Cape. Winter is not without its charm either. Cape Cod is a beautiful place. We are happy to be a part of your enjoyment here and take great pride in taking care of your homes.
Contact Cinnamon Ann Swable:
e-mail: [email protected]