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  WINTER WATCH: THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF LEAVING YOUR WINTER HOME UNWATCHED
          by Tom Morgan, Sound Home Inspection

   If you're a homeowner in the northeastern United States, you know that winter can bring unexpected-and unwelcome-surprises. Things like burst pipes, ice dams, wind damage and failed sump pumps can quickly cause hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage. These issues need to be caught and fixed quickly to prevent extensive damage to your home, something that isn't always possible if you vacation out of the area for several weeks during the winter or spend several months at your beach home.

Ice Dam Frozen Pipes

 Potential hazards of leaving your winter house unwatched:

   Even the most careful advanced planning can't prevent all potential home maintenance situations while you're away for the winter season. Our little corner of the world, while beautiful, is subject to some fierce winter storms, especially if you live along the coast. Just a few of the things that can cause emergency maintenance issues while you're away include:

  • Burst pipes
    Freezing and thawing can wreck havoc with plumbing fixtures, especially if the taps haven't been turned on in a while. Even a little water left in the pipes can make a big mess if the pipe bursts.

  • Water leaks
    Water leaks, from pipes, ice dams and other issues, can cause mold and mildew to form in your attic and behind your walls if not addressed promptly.

  • Faulty furnace
    Although you probably turn your heating system way down when you leave for the winter, you don't want the furnace to stop working entirely.

  • Broken windows or signs of forced entry
    A burglar entering your home from the rear porch or back yard can go unnoticed by the neighbors.

  • Excessive snow around the house
    Too much snow can compromise your roof, cause water leaks and make your home look as if no one is living there.

  • Wildlife inside the home.
    Racoons, mice and/or squirrels in the attic can do a lot of damage over the winter months.

  Having someone check on your home on a regular basis while you're away for the season can give you peace of mind and make your winter retreat much more enjoyable. Plus, catching any water issues, power outages, wind or storm damage and wildlife issues promptly can avoid costly repair bills when you return to New England in the spring.


   Home Inspector Tom Morgan specializes in searching out problems with old homes.

   The website for Sound Home Inspections, LLC (www.soundhomeinpections.com) describes owner Tom Morgan as “a Connecticut native who is familiar with and sensitive to the condition of New England’s old homes.” Tom Morgan’s family in New London goes back to a land grant from the King of England.

Sound Home Inspections, LLC
2 Roosevelt Street  ·  Mystic, CT 06355
860-445-1236  ·  860-705-1630
soundhomeinspections.com  ·  soundhome@att.net
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