FHA Winterization Alert

To: FHA servicers:

With winterization season starting this month in some states, we would like to recommend certain preventative measures for FHA properties requiring wet winterization. 

As you may be aware, it is often the case that a wet winterization per Mortgagee Letters 2002-10 and 2003-05 cannot be completed within the allowables set forth in those letters.  In such cases,  when a bid must be submitted for winterization approval, the property is left without any protection and may sustain freeze damage while bid approval is pending.

We would like to recommend that, when a bid is required, the property be winterized immediately per guidelines (shut down of system, pressure testing, and blowing of lines) to protect the property while we await for bid approval for the remainder of the wet winterization per the 2002-10/2003-05 guidelines. 

Although the "shutdown"  partial winterization per ML 97-31 guidelines is a non-claimable cost, we believe the risk of freeze damage while awaiting bid approval more than outweighs the out-of-pocket costs (approximately $120 per property).  Freeze damage to one property alone can easily exceed the total cost you would incur to protect all of your properties requiring wet winterizations.

We followed this process for a number of our clients last year and realized a drastic reduction in freeze-damaged properties.  Many of our clients have already instructed us to perform these "shutdowns" per ML 97-31.  

Should you desire that we follow this procedure for your files, please respond to this e-mail or call/contact Customer Service Manager Kathryn Harris at 1-800-852-8306, ext. 1383 or email her at kathryn.harris@safeguardproperties.com .

Wishing us all a damage free winter season.

Robert

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