Homestead Stories: The Polar Vortex comes to Ohio

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Homestead America Maintenance & Management Teams work together to weather the storm.

“A polar vortex is a semi-permanent weather system over the Earth, it is an area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere that, on average in the Northern Hemisphere. The vortex is strongest in winter, thanks to an increased temperature contrast between the polar regions and the mid-latitudes, including the United States. Occasionally, the polar vortex can either be forced well south of its typical position, or a significant piece of the larger spin can break off and plunge south into the U.S. ” – Jon Erdman of

Many Schools, businesses and events were shut down due to the extreme cold temperatures, but not the management and maintenance teams at Homestead America. As we all know, cold weather can cause problems at your home. Freezing pipes, aging furnaces and drafty windows are a concern for many tenants and property managers alike. Our team put in extra time and muscle to make sure everyone was safe and warm during this extremely cold January.

J_RadcliffeWrightJen Radcliffe, Property Manager of Georgetown Apartments, said that some of the furnaces at the property are the original units. Maintenance Director, Steve Wright and Maintenance Tech, John Baylous, replaced 5 furnaces in 5 days. The negative temperatures and cold winds kept blowing the pilot lights out. “They have a done a great job and we now have 5 very warm and happy tenants!” Said Radcliffe.



Doug Schreiber, Maintenance Director of Village West, was on call during the Polar Vortex. He worked nearly 24 hours straight fixing furnaces and frozen pipes.




T_BrandHessOrchard Grove had 14 families with frozen pipes and broken water lines. Property Manager, Tanya Brand, said that her and Mike Hess, Maintenance Director, stayed well into the night to help them thaw out their pipes and ensure that they had everything they needed. They had spare gallons of water for the tenants, but a lack of water wasn’t the only issue. The extreme cold caused some of the pipes to burst. With help from Shaker Square (Randy Edwards, Trey Boney and John Hancock, Jr.), Olde Towne (Scott Woods) and Winchester Oaks (Josh Harris) the team worked together to fix the problem immediately.

“The teamwork that all of these wonderful techs displayed was pretty awesome! And they did it all while maintaining a sense of humor! Due to  the freezing temperatures, January proved to be a very trying month for us all, but we were able to pull through by leaning on each other. A big thank you to Mike, Randy, Trey, Jazz, Scott, Josh, Ross and of course Cheryl who was there every step of the way, as always. I’d like to thank Miami, Jamie and Rae for putting their property on hold to send us the help!” – Tanya Brand, Property Manager of Orchard Grove




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