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Into the throes of frozen home woes
August 3rd, 2015 12:25 PM

Thawt-ful  and Clever Ways to Protect Your Home and Asset

We’ve appraised the situation, dear readers.  It’s winter in Chicago; the weather outside is frightful and since it can freeze your toes, watch out for these common and costly frozen home woes. Fortunately, we’re not going to leave you out in the cold without solutions. Pahroo Real Estate Appraisal has consulted with a number of our remodeling pros who have  literally constructive answers. Here goes with the woes. Hopefully you’ll be snowed with ideas that can save thousands.  

1. Brrrroken Water Pipes    
 Water pipes that freeze and break are the most common winter woe, according to the folks at American Water Resources AWR. They don’t water down the bad news regarding repairs, however.  The cost to repair or replace a water service averages in the $1,500s, while the typical cost of hiring a plumber can range from $250–$1,500. But you can mitigate that potential danger now!          

Thawt-full Solution:  (Courtesy of the American Red Cross

  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water left in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break
  • Check your home for other water supply lines located in unheated areas. Both hot and cold water pipes in these places should be insulated.
  • Consider insulation like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed pipes.

  2. Uneasy, Breezy, Freezing Dwelling

You’re having a blast, but it’s not the fun kind. Wind whips through your house and 

you’re family feels frozen. Worse still, money is flying out the window fast. What 

can you do?

 Thawt-full Solution:
Air gaps force your HVAC system to work overtime (and overtime is costly) to reach your desired room temperature. To cut down on the energy and monthly bills, check for air leaks around your doors and windows. Weather Stripping, caulk and sealant can be inexpensive and pretty effective. However, if you hold a candle next to the closed window and it goes out, our evaluation (always on the money is) get a handyman fast. (Pahroo knows another guy.)

3. Money Going Up Your Chimney
If your chimney needs work, more than energy money could be going up the chimney in     smoke. You could be placing your family and home in danger due to fire or CO2   poisoning. Get fired up now to do something now.

Thawt-full Soution:
  • Like Mary Poppins, have a professional chimney sweep pop in. They’re well sooted, er suited to the task of checking fireplace dampers and cleaning to prevent caked-on soot, leaves, and other debris from causing a backup of carbon monoxide and catching on fire. 

4.  Darn those Dangerous Ice Dams

They look beautiful but ice dams can disguise danger and great expense, according to the federal government's Energy Star Web site: "Ice dams usually occur after a snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air from inside your home rises into the attic and warms the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang where it can freeze if it’s cold enough and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles." Here are some ideas to warm to:

Thawt-full Soution: 

  • Don't get on your roof to solve this problem; it could be dangerous.
  • Avoid standing on the ground and "chipping away" at the ice. That’s an “Ut oh no no.”
  • Fixing your roof won’t help because your roof is not the problem. 
  • Seal air leaks in your attic to stop warm-air leakage (the source of the problem)
  • After sealing leaks, add additional insulation in your attic.
  • Provide adequate attic ventilation so that the underside of the roof and the outside are at the same temp.
  • Clean leaves and other debris from gutters before the first snow.



(American Water Resources)

 Ice Dams Source: Energy Star Web site, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

and Department of Energy:


Blurb at End

In today's turbulent real estate markets, property owners, property investors, financial planners, lenders and portfolio and asset managers turn to Michael Hobbs & PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy for prompt, trustworthy guidance and  keen valuation insight into real estate appraisal, both commercial and residential, estate appraisal, real estate valuation, and business consulting designed to create transformational growth and success. Appraise our ability to meet and exceed your needs at


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Posted by Michael Hobbs on August 3rd, 2015 12:25 PMPost a Comment

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