If you own a rental property, you have to protect it. After all, your rental property is your income-generating asset. You want to keep it in its best condition if you want to protect its value. A rental property in top condition can easily attract tenants, which means it can get rented out quickly and generate good returns.
There are several measures that can help you protect your rental property. Often, preparing your rental home for winter is one of the best and most important ways to protect not only its physical condition but also its functionality. Winterizing helps ensure that your rental home can withstand the change in temperature and other harsh conditions.
Reasons to Prepare Your Rental for Winter
The process of preparing your rental home for winter is also known as winterization. Property owners winterize their homes and key systems as a way to make sure that they are ready for cold temperatures, extreme conditions, and other harsh elements.
All of these can put a strain on the property and its functions, which if not properly addressed, could damage the important aspects of the rental home. As a rental property owner, it’s your duty to winterize your rental home every year to provide a habitable dwelling place for your renters. On top of that, winterization can help increase the longevity of the property.
Here are a few reasons why you should prepare your property for winter:
- Prevents Costly Repairs: Damage to the property that is due to harsh weather conditions is not the fault of tenants. Routine inspection and regular maintenance can help prevent these damages. If you hire a professional to inspect your plumbing components, HVAC system, chimney, and fireplaces, you will be able to address possible issues early on and prevent costly repairs down the line.
- Saves Energy: Another important benefit of winterizing your rental home is ensuring that there is sufficient insulation against the cold. This can help save energy as there will be less demand for the heating system, which can translate to more savings.
- Protects Against Disaster: An unexpected snowstorm or drop in temperature can burst pipes, collapse the gutters, and cause leakage. Winterizing the property can help identify issues ahead of time, preventing any damage caused by these disasters.
Effective Tips for Preparing Your Rental Home for Winter
It's best to keep an annual to-do list that you can use during mid to late fall. Here are a few tips for winterizing the property:
1. Clean Out the Gutters
After the last leaves fall at the end of autumn, hire a professional to clean your gutter. It’s essential to clear out your gutters to prevent overflowing during the winter. Otherwise, it can cause icicles and ice dams to form and this can be dangerous.
2. Replace Air Filters
Replacing your air filters every few months is crucial for keeping your HVAC system in its best condition. If you don’t replace your air filters on a regular basis, at least make sure that they are replaced before the winter season begins.
3. Winterize Your Doors and Windows
To prevent major heat loss during the winter season, it’s vital to provide more insulation around doors and windows. Invest in caulk and weatherstripping to ultimately reduce your electricity cost.
4. Perform Roof Inspection
Before the harsh weather conditions of the winter season hit, make sure to inspect the roof to prevent water damage. During the fall, check your roof for any signs of water stains.
Be mindful of any cracks in the ceiling or chipped paint as these are signs of possible leaks and may cause serious damage when not addressed immediately. It’s recommended to hire a roofing professional for a more thorough check-up.
5. Reverse Ceiling Fans
You can still use your ceiling fans during the cold months. All you have to do is adjust your ceiling fan to make it spin clockwise. This will push the warm air down, providing heat inside your home and making the tenants more comfortable. This can also help reduce energy costs.
6. Check Your Water Heater
To ensure that your water heater runs efficiently, especially during the cold winter months, it’s important to inspect it thoroughly. You can conserve heat by adding insulation around the water heater. Flushing the water heater before the water turns cold is also a useful idea.
7. Prepare the Chimney and the Fireplace
Check with your tenants if they are using the fireplace. If not, you can add a chimney balloon to help reduce the utility bill. If the tenants are using the fireplace, make sure that it is functioning properly before the winter season kicks in.
8. Cover the Hose Spigots
Winterize your exterior water spigot on your rental property. You need to disconnect the hoses, turn the water off and drain the spigot and pipes, and install outdoor faucet covers. Depending on how harsh the winter is in your area, you can use a basic styrofoam spigot cover. You may also opt to place crumpled newspapers or old rags inside the cover for more insulation.
How Can Professional Property Managers Help?
Even if you have a complete checklist of what to inspect, it’s still possible to miss a thing or two. To avoid this, it’s best to hire a reliable professional property manager who can handle the proper winterizing process for your rental property.
Winterizing your rental property is a vital process that landlords must see to. That said, there are many steps involved, so it may be in your best interest to engage the services of a professional management company.
With an experienced property manager, you can ensure that your rental home will remain in its best condition at all times. Contact Cressman Realty & Property Management for help managing your rental properties!