Recently when performing a home inspection in Wilmette Illinois a small issue was noted that can develop fast into a large issue that can be very costly. A frozen hose bib was found in the home’s exterior. Hose bibs come in various types that can allow for no winterization or for winterization. Hose bibs that are not the anti freeze type will require valves to be installed in the basement of the home to allow for shutting the water off to the hose bib. Older homes have the older type of hose bibs known as gate valves that are known to freeze in the cold Chicago winters if not winterized. The issue at hand of frozen gate valve hose bibs is that water damage can occur in the basement or the basement if the piping to the hose bib were to freeze in the walls. Frozen piping in the basement walls can lead to issues with water in the basement that may develop into mold or mildew issues that may cause costly repairs or health concerns. Most homes that have the older gate valve systems do not have shut off valves installed in the home that makes winterization hard or impossible to perform. The gate valve hose bib on the home from the Wilmette home inspection was missing shut off valves in the home that will be required to perform a proper inspection. The hose bib was frozen during the inspection and probably will not burst but still can pose an issue when performing a home inspection. A foam cover is also a great way and an affordable way to winterize the hose bibs of a home.
If you are a homeowner with an anti freeze hose bib it is still recommended that interior water shut off valves are added to winterize the antifreeze hose bibs to assure that bursting of the piping does not occur. If you do have shut off valves on the interior of the home for your hose bibs then the next step after shutting or closing the water off to the hose bib is to open the valve to the hose bib to allow all of the water in the hose bib to leave the valve preventing any trapped water from expanding and bursting the piping to the hose bib. Frozen hose bibs like what was found at the Wilmette home inspection can be prevented with easy steps.
Please follow what has been outlined in this article while looking at homes to prevent setting yourself up for failure at your home inspection. If you have any questions about this issue please contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 847-251-1186.
Thank for stopping by.