September should be every investment property management team’s cue to begin preparing the property for the cold months ahead. Below is a checklist of tasks to perform now to protect your rental property from the chilly, wet ice and winds of winter. Use this checklist to complete your fall maintenance tasks and you’ll save time and money by avoiding costly damage the harsh winter elements can inflict during the winter months.
Exterior Maintenance for Better Investment Property Management
Your flair for investment property management is better improved if you follow the maintenance checklist below. With better facilities and working amenities, your tenants are going to stay in your property longer than expected.
Inspect roof and clean gutters
- Prevent leaks at the source by inspecting the roof for deteriorating or broken shingles, gaps or holes. Repair problem areas and seal with watertight caulk.
- Scoop leaves and debris from the gutters.
Winterize exterior faucets and sprinkler systems
- Before freezing weather moves in, drain all water from the faucet system by first closing off the main water supply to prevent water from sitting too long in the pipes and freezing. Remove any hoses attached to outdoor faucets and empty them of any remaining water. Store hoses inside. After shutting off the outdoor water supply, open faucets so that all water drains out. A minuscule amount of water will remain in the pipe and even if this water freezes, it will have enough space to expand without causing damage.
- Cover outdoor pipes and faucets with insulating material to protect them from sub-zero temperatures. This step is especially crucial if your rental property does not have a separate outdoor water supply valve that you can shut off. Cover the faucet and exposed pipe with insulation material of your choice—you can wrap fiberglass or foam insulation sleeves made to fit around piping around the faucets and pipe before covering with plastic. Secure the materials in place with duct tape. There are also heating tapes on the market that you can wrap around any size faucet or pipe. You can find most of these products in home improvement centers.
- Winterize sprinkler systems by making sure to drain them and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Check snow and ice removal tools and services
- Check to make sure all necessary snow and ice tools and supplies are on hand to keep your
property safe, including salt for sidewalks and paths a snow shovel, and a snowblower.
- Secure snow-removal service well in advance of the first snow of the season. Check for services that offer pay-as-you-go snow removal if you can without risk of losing a priority ranking for services when they are needed.
- Fertilize grass and mulch beds Mow and dethatch lawn, aerate, and fertilize. Apply fertilizer to beds as well, and then spread mulch. Water thoroughly to ensure the fertilizer gets into the soil to do its work. Now is the time to plant spring bulbs such as tulips and hyacinths for added appeal,
- Trim flowers, plants, and trees. Cut back dead flowers and seed heads, and prune bushes and plants. Check for trees that need trimming. Remove dead branches and remove unstable trees.
- Check the water drainage. Inspect outside areas for disconnected drain spouts and landscaping that slopes toward the building’s foundation. Take measures to improve drainage in low areas.
- Check window and door seal for drafts and air leaks to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from coming in. Caulk trouble areas or call in a professional to replace any windows beyond repair.
- Make sure the furnace is working, replace furnace filters, and check the connection between the furnace and the thermostat.
- Clean out air ducts. Bring in an HVAC professional to use negative pressure to clean out your ducts at least once a year.
- Have fireplace(s) and chimney(s) checked if your property has them. Check for buildup and make sure damper(s) and flue(s) are functioning properly. Call in a professional chimney sweep to clear soot and creosote to prevent accidental fires.
- Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in tip-top shape by replacing the batteries every six months and testing them monthly.
- If you provide washers and dryers for your tenants, this is the time to inspect dryers and clear lint or debris buildup from ductwork and lint traps.
Wrap interior pipes to prevent freezing
If you have pipes in chilly basements, exposed crawlspaces or accessible attics, insulate them with foam covers or towels.
If your rental property has attic, basement, and/or hallways that are vulnerable to freezing outdoor temperatures, add extra insulation in the ceilings and walls of these areas. You can use traditional or spray-foam insulation that acts as an instant barrier against freezing temperatures.
These tips will definitely make your rental business a success. They will also show that you’re highly proficient in investment property management. Follow them and things will be most straightforward and smooth-sailing for you.