The winter season is filled with holiday bustle and it’s easy to let the gritty details get lost in the mix.
However, every landlord and property manager needs to have winter maintenance tasks on their radar, and while your tenants may not have many events this year, guest and tenant safety should be at the forefront of your mind.
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’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.
Autumn leaves have fallen, and now it’s time to give the gutters a good cleaning to ensure they function properly throughout the wet winter season.
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.
While you’re on the ladder cleaning the gutters, visually inspect the roof for loose or missing shingles. Due to the importance of the roof, it’s recommended that you have a licensed, certified roofing professional inspect yearly.
Prune Trees & Shrubs
Heavy snow and ice on branches can weigh them 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.
Prevent Slips & Trips
Prevent a slip or tripping hazard. Remove organic debris from sidewalks and entryways, fill holes in the lawn, and ensure that your walkways are textured. Finally, 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.
Check the Water Heater
Experts suggest you flush the water heater every 2 years to control mineral build-ups from causing damage or reducing efficiency. An old one will need extra care, plan to schedule a repair or replacement.
Seal windows and doors to insulate against winter weather, keeping the heating costs down and keeping moisture out.
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.
Prep Your Attic
Cold weather brings critters seeking 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.
Remember that property maintenance and slip prevention is vital any time of year, but during the inclement weather that autumn and winter can bring, it should be a priority. 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. A little work can go a long way to prevent a disaster, keep your tenants happy, and ensure the rental property is fully protected.
This article was originally published December 2020 and has since been updated