Is it worth it to winterize a house ?

moisture above drywall

In the past 3 Home Inspections that have involved bank owned winterized houses, all 3 had problems once the water was turned back on.  The problems would not have occurred if the homes had remained heated and the water left active. In addition, each of these transactions was delayed at least 1-2 weeks while waiting for the banks crew and local utilities to get the water turned back on.

Last week I went to inspect a home that overall was in excellent condition. The banks crew had turned the water on with the washing machine valves left open. They said it was turned off quickly.

The carpeting was soaked near the source. Other areas did not feel wet. When viewed with an infrared camera, it was evident that the water had seeped under the walls and carpet pad in 3 rooms up to 10 feet away.

water soaked carpeting

Water had also seeped thru the subfloor and has soaked the drywall of the Family room below. As shown in this image, the water has also soaked into the drywall taping seams. The probable repair cost to this home will be at least $2,000-3,000.

Hergert Seattle Bellevue Everett Washington