The holiday season is underway with weekends full of friends, family and food. In between your celebrations, take some time to make sure your rental properties are ready for winter weather. This time of year can be hard on homes, and winter maintenance is an essential step of property management and one of the most important preventive tasks you can take to protect an investment.
Seasonal maintenance is also the perfect time to perform a seasonal inspection and check in with your tenants. During your routine inspection, make sure to double check the ceiling for any water damage that could indicate a leak or roof damage. You need to address water damage immediately, especially prior to wet weather and heavy snows that could exacerbate the issue.
Here’s a look at the most important winter maintenance tasks that will prevent property damage prior to the cold weather, heavy rains, and snowfall of winter:
Prune Trees and Shrubs
Heavy snow and ice on branches can weigh trees and shrubs down dangerously, causing breakages that could harm residents or create obstacles. Check your property for any vegetation in need of a trim before the cold weather hits full-force.
Seal windows and doors to insulate against winter weather and keep heating costs down and moisture out.
Wrap any un-insulated pipes to ensure they won’t freeze or burst when the temperature drops. Also, be sure to detach any garden hoses and cover outdoor spigots.
Check the Water Heater
Experts suggest you flush water heaters every two years to control mineral buildups from causing damage or reducing efficiency. An old one will need extra care, so plan on scheduling a repair or replacement.
Have a licensed, certified roofing professional check your roof. Slight damage leads to water exposure and deterioration leaving electrical, plumbing and HVAC vulnerable.
Now is a good time to send out a reminder to your tenants about ways to keep their costs down and stay warm during the winter. A simple winter reminder newsletter provides an easy way to connect to your tenants during the holiday season and adds value to your relationship by offering helpful advice.
written by Brentnie Daggett for RIS Media’s Housecall