Is it winter or is it winter!? Brrrrr! Heck it was 44 degrees at sunrise in Miami, Florida this morning! But I am no stranger to winter chills here in Detroit Michigan, and winter has it's own set of challenges as a home inspector that I thought might be fun to share.
Three things must be done for inspecting in winter:
One, dress the part. Boots, gloves, hats, overcoats, scarfs. And that is just for starters. Snow pants, down vests, wool socks, hand warmers, snow goggles, bomber hats. Yes, fur-lined, over the ears and strapped under the chin bomber hats. With all this stuff come pockets, and I generally have to search every pocket to find the tool I want. Whatever I do, I leave my hand-held computer where it is warm!
Two, I must remember which items are not visible so that my report accurately reflects the property at the time of inspection. I have developed numerous combinations of site items, exterior items, roof items, and water control items that may be snow/ice covered. Decks, patios, walks, steps, walls, driveways. Chimneys, roofs, gutters, downspouts, window wells, grading, and swales. I explain to my customers that buying a house in winter comes with this risk. Then, I explain what to expect when winter leaves.
Three, my car must be dressed, too. Shovels, scrapers, brooms, sand, chains, gas treatment, antifreeze, snow tires, remote starter. And the road salt. YIKES! Around here they deploy enough road salt to make the Morton Salt girl blush. I forget I have a black car most of the time because in the winter it is mostly dark gray--except for the door signs of course, which are a lighter shade of gray. Wash it? Not below 32°or the door and window locks will freeze until April.
More than once I have heated a car key to free a door lock. An old girlfriend poured a gallon of hot water over her driver side door lock because she was late for work. Success. When she went to go home, yup it was frozen. She used the passenger side door for the next five weeks. Window didn't work either.
But guess what? I'm not moving. I like it here and we have four full and different seasons. All this winter hassle? It beats six legged bugs and six foot lizards. What do you think? Happy winter everyone--stay warm!