It's that time of year again, winter. After a fairly temperate holiday season, it is easy to get a little lackadaisical about preparing your home for the fury of winter. For this edition we checked in with Ned, who heads up our home watch services, about some winter hazards and how to get your home ready. The point he stresses more than any other is the benefit of having a neighbor or qualified and insured business keeping an eye on your home.
Winter on Cape Cod is not kidding around. At the time of writing it is the beginning of 2020 and approximately 40 degrees outside. But ol' Jack Frost knows better than anyone how to lull homeowners into a false sense of security. Ned's tip? Turn off your water and drain your pipes. Ned is fanatical about this and will even shut off his water in the summer if he leaves for a few days. Here is his explanation.
"With your water off at the main line, a freezing incident (or broken pipe) is never as catastrophic. All that can happen is the amount of water sitting in the pipes leaks out of the break, but no more! If you leave your water on and a pipe breaks on Friday, by Sunday this could be gallons of water pouring onto your wood floors and destroying your drywall. With a well winterized home including drained pipes, a shut-off main, antifreeze in strategic locations, and human eyes walking through habitable spaces, you greatly reduce the possibility of damage as well as the amount of damage that does happen. The horror story is a former sales client had, over several months, tens of thousands of gallons leak out of a broken pipe before anyone noticed. Please have your house checked."
Cold outside is cold for everything, including animals that like to be warm and fed. If you winterize your home we recommend removing all food items, even those in plastic packages and bags. Mice will eat through bags of rice or popcorn and make a mess in your pantry. Also chimneys are a consideration if you don't need them for venting a furnace since raccoons, opossums and plenty of other animals can make homes in them over the winter leading to messy cleanup come spring.
As always Nor'Easters are a very real threat to property here on Cape Cod. With hurricane force winds battering trees and roofs, these storms can drop branches or entire trees on your home. We recommend some simple things to get ready for any storm here, and particularly where landscaping is concerned. The main idea, remove large trees and limbs from the area immediately surrounding your house. Old pitch pines are particularly susceptible to breaking off near the top and dropping heavy and damaging tops on houses, so pay close attention to these when assessing your landscaping.
Be prepared this winter and add the peace of mind of having a person walk through and around your home by contacting Chatelain Real Estate today. With our house watch service you don't need to wait until April to discover a problem that has been ongoing since January.