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Don't Forget These Winter Maintenance Tasks for Your Rental Property

Winter is upon us and if you haven’t completed your winter prep, or asked your tenants to do the same, now is the time.

 

Keeping your tenants warm and your property protected through harsh winter conditions requires that you complete a few winter maintenance tasks.  Winter maintenance is an essential step of property management and one of the most important preventive tasks you can take to protect an investment.

 

Here are the top winter maintenance tasks that you can’t forget as we head into the chilly weather.

 

Get Your Property’s Pipes Winter Ready

A burst pipe will ruin your tenants day, and can cause untold damage to your property. Wrap any un-insulated pipes to ensure they won’t freeze or burst when the temperature drops. Be sure to detach any garden hoses and cover outdoor spigots as well. Remind your tenants of lease terms regarding vacation notification; the last thing you will want is for a tenant to leave on a long vacation only to return and have a waterlogged home--since no one knew to check in while they were gone.

 

Clean Gutters

Gutter cleaning may be a fall maintenance task, but it’s important to remember that lose debris and leaves can clog the gutters during winter storms. Now is the time to give the gutters a good cleaning to ensure they function properly throughout the wet winter season.

 

Roof

While you’re on the ladder cleaning the gutters, visually inspect the roof for loose or missing shingles. A damaged roof can lead to leaks that cause damage to the HVAC systems, dry rot, or electrical issues. Since the roof is vital and costly to repair, it's recommended that you have a licensed, certified roofing professional inspect yearly.

 

Prevent Slips & Trips

Remove tripping hazards in the form of errant shrubbery that may be encroaching pathways. Texture any stairs or potentially difficult walkways and check your property's railings. They should be able to support an adult who may have lost their balance on an icy or wet patch.

 

Weatherproof

Caulking and sealing openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs. Openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold build up. Seal windows and doors to insulate against winter weather, keeping the heating costs down and keeping moisture out.

 

Prune Trees & Shrubs

Heavy snow and ice on branches can weigh them down and cause 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.

 

Prep Your Attic

Cold weather brings small animals who will seek the warmth of a basement or attic. To prevent an infestation, caulk small holes and cover large holes with hardware cloth. Check your attic’s insulation to prevent ice damming on your roof, which can lead to damage and expensive repairs.

 

Winter brings with it holiday parties and guests, cold weather, icy conditions, and extra slip hazards. While property maintenance and injury prevention are important at any time during the year, the inclement weather that autumn and winter can bring means it should be a priority. A little work can go a long way to prevent a disaster, keep your tenants happy, and ensure the rental property is fully protected.

 

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