No question that winter poses certain challenges when performing a thorough home inspection, however, there are only a few places that the snow or ice will restrict an inspection. Those areas include the AC Unit, roof, and checking proper drainage – and that is only when there is excessive snow on the ground.
All other areas of the home are still able to be inspected properly during winter, and here’s why it’s a good idea. Extreme weather can cause all kinds of stress and damage to a home, and often, that damage isn’t revealed until temperatures warm up, and those situations can quickly turn into emergencies. We’ve already seen a number of homes in winter with plumbing connections that have frozen and cracked underneath the house causing slow leaks and water intrusion. With freezing temperatures, those failures aren’t always recognized until things warm up.
Another advantage of a home inspection in cold weather months is that it is easier to detect drafts and insulation failures. During the summer months, attics can reach temps of 120+ making it difficult to detect areas of concern. In the winter, it’s obvious where there are cold spots or drafts.
Also, with a snow pack on the roof, it presents an opportunity to see check the integrity of the framing (how things are holding up under that extra weight).
So in a nutshell, yes, a home inspection can be performed in winter. Snow and ice do present challenges, but they also present opportunities to see things that are more difficult to detect in summer months. A winter home inspection can help homeowners avoid more serious damages when warmer temperatures arrive.