I think this theory is incorrect. My GF is selling her mother's house
reluctant to shut down the heat and drain the pipes over the winter.
(We live in the Northeast.) She was told by an "expert" that the
plaster will crack. I regularly shut my heat off for the winter at my
summer home, and have never had cracks in my plaster ceilings.
I'd like your comments. Obviously sudden temperature changes
might do it, but not one slow drop.
Thanks in advance for help.
I do it every year and am ok, If she isnt living there draining pipes
anyway is smart since heating systems do break, if its a boiler with
radiators depending on how pipes are run, it may ruin pipes by turning
down the system if boiler pipes are are close to exterior walls and
freeze on the coldest nights.
The way the post was worded I can understand why many of you focused
on the issue of selling the house, but it is unlikely for a number of
reasons that the house will be put on the market before spring.
I guess there are mixed opinions about the likelihood of cracks
developing from lack of heat. I had hoped for a consensus discounting
the idea as I favor shutting the heat off and draining the hydronic
system. Without this, there clearly needs to be a remote alarm system
if the inside temp falls below freezing, but I have seen those fail to
alert the monitor fast enough when temps are falling rapidly. A
neighbor of mine who goes to Florida had two floods- now he drains
everything and shuts off the boiler.
Thanks all for your comments!
On Sat, 31 Oct 2009 21:29:11 -0700 (PDT), ransley
Some real estate sales folks are reluctant to show a cold house for
sale in the winter. It always makes a potential buyer suspicious that
a major problem exists in the heating system. The experts prefer a
cool, 55-60F house for a walk through. The client will stay longer and
take more interest in sizing up the property. IMO the plaster cracking
notion is bogus and the statement was made with some other intent than
being helpful; or perhaps just hearsay from some poor soul who
happened to live through such an experience in a very badly built
If she is interested in selling the house she needs to keep the heat on
to at least have the place warm for showing. Prospective buyers will
quickly turn their backs if they are shown it in deep freeze mode where
people will have chattering teeth and the florescent lights are blinking
like a horror show.
The freezing shouldn't hurt the plaster per say BUT the moisture isn't good
for alot of things including the plaster , especially if it is already
bad..In the NE winters tend to be cold and WET....Nothing smells worse than
an cold damp musty house...Not good for the wallpaper or paint either ....
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