With winter-time comes a host of cold-weather dangers for your property. A little preparation, though, can help you keep your property — and its grateful tenants — in good health.
Time for a heating check-up
Before your tenants need to turn it on, have your property’s heating system checked for safety, as well as efficiency. It’s a good idea to sign on with a heating and air professional for semi-annual check-ups and maintenance. A maintenance plan will keep the warranty on your heating system in place and may even get you speedier service in case of emergency.
To reduce indoor pollutants and keep your heating system working right, be sure to change the air filters in the heating system regularly, something you can probably do on your own. Depending on the type of filters you use, you may need to do it every six months, or more often.
Test your detectors
Make sure that all of your property’s smoke detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries. You should also change the batteries in your property’s carbon monoxide detectors. If you make it a habit to change the batteries when daylight savings time ends, it will be easier to remember the task.
Keep the cold and wet out
Before cold weather makes an appearance, inspect windows, doors, and any other areas where cold air could get in and increase tenant utility bills. Seal any leaking areas with rubber insulation or caulk. If you discover holes around pipes or vents, use spray foam to fill the gaps, or carefully stuff insulation around them. Also make sure there are no leaks under sinks. Likewise, inspect the roof, replacing any missing shingles and securing any that may be loose.
Protect water pipes
If your property is in an area that sees freezing temperatures, be sure to insulate exposed pipes with foam-rubber sleeves or wrap them in fiberglass insulation to prevent bursting. Likewise, be sure to wrap exposed outdoor faucets and turn off their water supply from inside the building. Make sure any garden hoses are detached and drained.
Ice storms can cause severe damage when limbs fall from trees, devastating structures and power lines. If you have tree limbs overhanging your rental property, trim them back for the winter. Not only will you reduce the likelihood of roof damage should limbs fall because of wind or ice, but higher limbs make it harder for bugs and rodents to take refuge in your rental property.
Clean the gutters
Once leaves begin to fall, your property’s gutters will fill quickly. Cleaning them regularly will help ensure they work properly, funneling water to safer areas rather than down to your property’s foundation.
Every season has its challenges for your rental property, but getting ready for the wintry season before the cold arrives is a great way to keep your rentals — and your tenant relationships — in great shape!