Updated: Jan 23
Leaving a historic house in Westminster, Colorado vacant and exposed to the winter elements can lead to a lot of damage to the house. This damage can be costly and time consuming to repair, even leading to the possibility of the house being unrecoverable.
The first and most obvious reason to avoid leaving a historic house vacant and exposed during the winter is the potential for cold weather damage. Cold weather can cause damage to a house in a variety of ways, such as damaging roofs and siding, cracking window glass, damaging interior structure, and more. These problems can be especially damaging to a historic house, as the age and unique materials used in their construction can make them much more susceptible to cold weather damage than other houses.
Another issue with leaving a house vacant and exposed to winter in Colorado is the risk of water and ice damage. Even if the cold weather does not damage the house directly, the accumulated snow and ice can damage the building, especially if it is only filled with air. Water can seep into cracks and crevices, ruining drywall and causing mold and mildew to grow.
The third reason for avoiding leaving a historic house vacant and exposed to the winter in Westminster, Colorado is the potential for pest infestation. A home that has been sitting vacant is much more likely to attract a range of pests like mice, rats, pigeons and raccoons, which can cause significant destruction. In addition, pests can carry disease, which can be especially dangerous for unlucky occupants.
Finally, leaving a historic house vacant in a community that is suffering from homelessness and drug addiction can be extremely dangerous due to the risk of it being invaded by those who are struggling with these issues. If individuals without homes or those with substance abuse problems find out that a house is unoccupied and vacant, they may take advantage of the opportunity to break-in to the house and use it as a place to sleep or use drugs. This could potentially bring harm to the trespassing individual. A home that is left vacant and exposed to the elements is not being maintained and this can lead to weakening of the building's structure. This poses safety risk for anyone who enters and can even cause the house to become irreparably damaged and worthless. Trespassing in a vacant home is dangerous and can increase the risk of it catching fire. If a trespasser initiates a fire inside the home, it can quickly spiral out of control placing nearby homes and people at risk.
For all these reasons and more, it is important that a historic home in Westminster, Colorado not be left vacant and exposed to the winter elements. Even in the short run, the damage and destruction caused by leaving a house vacant and exposed can be costly and time consuming to repair, and the long-term effects of neglect can be even worse. Historic Shoenberg Farms has been vacant since it was purchased by the city of Westminster in May of 2009.