I got my offer accepted today on a HUD home that was winterized a contractor. We will be seeing record breaking temperatures around the Quad Cities this week and I want to know if HUD normally winterizes boiler/radiator systems? Not sure if the system is water or oil or if it was filled to begin with. The listing agent has no details and my buying agent isn't having any luck getting an answer from the listing or HUD. Wondering if anyone has been through a HUD home with radiators being winterized...long odds on that one
Luckily it is suppose to warm up by this weekend for the inspection
@Nathan Murray I have represented a lot of buyers on HUD homes and other types of foreclosures that are winterized in the Chicago west suburbs. In my experience, the boiler has normally been winterized. The real question is going to be if it the home was winterized before there were issues or not. I have sold properties that were winterized as part of the standard protocol, but that had issues that were probably preexisting.
As an aside, you should probably wait till after this cold front to do anything major. I plumber that is changing a lot of galvanized piping to copper in an apartment building in Berwyn. He is very leery of shutting water off this week to do final hookups, and would rather just let things sit for a week.
@John Warren thanks John, that gives me a sense of relief and hope since I do have the reports from HUD when they took over the property, late last summer, showing all major systems were in working order and holding pressure. The plan is to wait a few days after this cold snap to have the inspection completed.
Just to be on the safe side I would pump pink RV anti-freeze (good to -50) through the rads & lines asap because the winterizing attempts, I've experienced in the past, will NOT be effective at these temps.
We had to replace the rad feeds in a 'winterized' 2800 sq ft old 1890's home & it was expensive & time consuming work. Most of the line failures were in the laterals.
@Pat L. Thanks for the info but unfortunately we won’t be able to get back into the property now until after the cold snap...hoping for the best, planning for the worst.
If this is a HUD owned property, they are selling 'as is, where is,' correct? If this is a hot water circulating system and if the lines and boiler were drained, you might have a few breaks, but not a disaster--no flooding because all the utilities would have been turned off. Anti-freeze is great, however with no utilities on (no electric) your circulator pump won't be of any help to pump it through.
There's a simple way to check if there are breaks in this type of system, without turning on water. Take an air compressor and generator, put the generator outdoors, hook up the compressor to the boiler, turn compressor on and listen for air rushing out of any breaks. No noise / no breaks.
Once you close on the property, I do recommend keeping antifreeze in the boiler lines, especially if this will be held as a rental.
In my area, the vast majority of the time when a house is winterized there are stickers indicating that with a date on each fixture as well as the boiler etc. This way you know who did the winterization and when. If I didn't see that or have documentation from the seller that it had been winterized I would assume the worst and hope for the best and base my expectation on my own observations.
All good advice above - I do believe HUD is required to winterize it, but that doesn't mean they did it properly. Our plumbing was "winterized" in our HUD house - by the time our plumber turned the water on during the 203k reno, we realized what a terrible job had been done. Never forget that many municipalities / the government will often give their work to the lowest bidder.
Best of luck, keep warm, and like @Kevin Sobilo says, assume the worst and hope for the best!
Thanks everyone...I appreciate the info and advice. Our inspection is at the end of next week...fingers crossed
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