Winter is coming. Is your rental property ready? The return of colder weather means it’s time for landlords to batten down the hatches and get their rental properties ready for the chilly months ahead. Read on to learn how to make sure your rental is winter-ready.
How to Get Your Rental Property Ready for Winter
Inspect & service your HVAC
It’s important that the heating system in your rental property is in good working order before the arrival of winter. At minimum, you should check your HVAC to make sure it’s running properly and change any filters that need to be changed. It’s also wise to have your HVAC serviced annually, and the best time to do it is right before winter.
Seal driveway cracks
When water repeatedly freezes and thaws, it can take a serious toll on driveways and sidewalks. A tiny crack can become a huge crack over the course of a long winter. Check all paved surfaces for cracks before the snow flies, and apply some concrete sealer, if necessary.
Clear the gutters
Gutters that are full of leaf litter and debris are much more likely to become clogged. Clogged gutters can lead to frozen debris and—worst case scenario—ice dams that can potentially damage your roof. Spending a few hours on a ladder (or paying someone else to do so) is a small price to pay compared to costly roof repairs.
Protect your pipes
Fully drain exterior hoses and sprinkler systems to ensure that they don’t freeze if the temperature really plummets this winter. You might also want to take the precaution of insulating any pipes that run through unheated parts of your rental property.
Arrange for snow removal
If you pay a professional to keep your sidewalks salted and your driveway clear, make sure those arrangements are locked in before cold weather arrives. If you personally handle those kinds of chores at your rental properties, make sure you’re well stocked with ice melter and check your snow blower to ensure that it still runs.
Prune trees and shrubs
Pruning trees and shrubs before winter is not just for the plants themselves. It can also protect your rental property. Trim back branches that brush up against your house to avoid letting pests in. Look for larger limbs that hang over buildings and driveways that could snap off in a storm and have them removed.
Check for air leaks
The majority of heat loss in most properties happens through small cracks that allow air leakage around windows, doors, and pipes. Check these areas for leaks, and use caulk or weather stripping to seal them up, as needed.
Inspect attics and crawl spaces
This doesn’t have to be a very in-depth or time-consuming job. Just take a quick look inside your attic or crawl space with a flashlight, and check for signs of water damage, leaks, or pest infestations. If any such issues exist, it’s better to eliminate them now before winter can potentially make them worse.
Test safety devices
More fires happen during winter than in any other season. Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in common areas, and make sure every unit has a functioning fire extinguisher.
Hire a property management company to make maintenance easier
Seasonal maintenance can be a lot to deal with, whether you own a single rental home or multiple large rental properties. That’s why many landlords hire property management professionals to take the stress and hassle out of getting ready for the changing seasons.
Contact us today to learn more about seasonal maintenance for your rental property, and talk with our team about how professional property management can help.