Home inspections during the winter are needed for a variety of reasons. From buying a home to getting an appraisal to looking to rent it out, a home inspection can get the job done. And in general, there are advantages of getting a home inspection during the winter months. When you turn to Fire Island Property Management, you can trust that the inspection is done properly.
Let's take a look at some of the features for these inspections and how they impact the home or property. And check out all of the rental property management and maintenance services we provide homeowners across Fire Island.
Hot Spots for Home Inspections
The main reason for a home inspection is to find any issues with the home or property. This includes looking at aspects inside and outside of the house. Here are the hot spots for any home inspection during the winter months:
- electrical systems
- foundation for the home
- HVAC systems
- indoor plumbing
As a professional home inspector, we will take a closer look at these aspects, as well as many other parts of the property. The furnace, walls, ceilings and electrical systems are also all aspects that will likely fall under an inspection. Despite the cold of the winter, many of the inspection elements happen inside anyway. You can help with the inspection by following some winterization tips. Stay safe during the winter and be prepared!
Challenges from Cold Weather
There are some challenges these inspections face due to the cold weather. Here are some areas we pay extra close attention to during a winter inspection:
- crawl spaces with exterior entrances
- exterior plumbing
Due to the elements, the entire roof may not be accessible. However, the inspector may be able to get this complete with access through the attic and ably check the roof. But not only is accessing the roof a challenge, it may be near impossible if there is snow on the roof. The snow prevents the inspector from seeing the shingles. If that is the case, then a delay in the inspection may be necessary.
The exterior plumbing may also be a challenge, but can be solved by checking areas of the indoor plumbing. When it comes to the crawl space, it may only be accessible from the outside, which can present obstacles, too. At the very worst, inspectors can come back at a later date to complete this area.
Great Time to Test Heat
There are various areas of concerns when it comes to an inspection of home or property during the winter, but one area that is advantageous is the ability to test the heat. It is difficult to test the heat during the warmer months, which can lead to drafts and insulation issues. When winter rolls around, we can more easily check these aspects to ensure the heat is working correctly. And there are some maintenance aspects to prepare any home for winter before leaving for the season.
Other Areas to Watch with Winter Home Inspections
As noted, there are various factors at play when it comes to home winter inspections for houses and properties on Fire Island.
When snow piles up, it is impossible to properly inspect the foundation. This can be from natural snowfall or from shoveling. But no matter the reason, snow makes it difficult to accurately inspect the foundation of a home or property.
The snow must be cleared on the porch, as well as below it, for an accurate inspection. To inspect below the porch, one must crawl beneath tight spaces. A difficult job to do no matter the weather, but more difficult in the colder winter months.
Checking wood surfaces during the winter presents its problems. But this is where our experience comes in. If water seeps into the wood and turns to ice, it sounds different when you poke it. So knowing what it should sound like normally is a benefit and alerts the inspector of a problem.
Freezing Pipes & Windows
The cold weather can cause a pipe to crack, which will create leaking problems down the line. When a pipe freezes, it hides any issues present, like the cracks and potential leaking problems. Windows freeze too, and when they do it becomes difficult to open and close them. That happens when rain seeps beneath a window and gets into crevices, like the window track, and freezes.
No Testing of A/C
If the outdoor temperature drops below 60 degrees, then you cannot test out an A/C unit because turning it on may damage the unit.
Termites & Bugs Go Dormant
When the cold months roll around, then bugs and termites go dormant. However, the lack of activity of ants and termites does not mean they are not there. And when spring rolls around they emerge, causing problems to the homeowner.