Homes that stand unguarded against winter are defenseless when the weather gets cold, so protect your rental property this winter and minimize damage with these FIVE easy steps.
I think we can all agree this winter is especially snowy and cold…
It’s chilly out there, and you’re probably layering yourself up with cozy winter wear right now.
But it’s not only you that needs protection from the harshness of winter. The fact is, cold winds, snowfalls and ice will take a heavy toll on anything.
So, it’s important that this time of year you protect your most important asset – your real estate – from seasonal damage.
Houses that stand unguarded against weather conditions are defenseless when the weather goes wild – setting it up for a lot of damage and repair work.
And you surely don’t want that. So protect your rental property this winter.
Follow these FIVE steps to minimize the winter damage on your rental units and winterize them!
5 Steps to Take to Winter-Proof Your Property
Let’s ski through five steps (suggested by experts) that will guarantee your real estate property is safe and secure during the frosty weather.
And, here’s the first one…
1) Do a Furnace Inspection
A furnace might stop working at its best during cold days because of several different reasons.
Ahead of all the reasons is ‘the freezing of pipes.’
When winter sets in, below-zero temperatures can cause the piping of your furnace system to freeze up, particularly at night.
This will lead to a pressure buildup in the system and, ultimately, the pipes will rupture.
And even if you don’t have ice and snow, strong storms can cause your heater to malfunction because of dust build-up in the air filters.
Sometimes, the thermostat in a heater may also give up in the dead of winter, causing the warmth (and coziness) of your rental units to go down drastically.
So, before your tenants find themselves without a heater in the extreme cold (and sue you), get their HVACs inspected!
2) Prevent Frozen Plumbing
Frozen plumbing pipes inside and outside the house are a very common problem in the winter.
If your rental unit is in an area with ultra-cold temperatures, this is the problem you will face most often.
The bust pipes can cost you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars if they go unnoticed… and water (or in the worst case, sewage) start to leak into your property.
So, how do you solve this common problem?
For exterior pipes, the best way to prevent freezing is to wrap them up in insulation tape and drain them to the last drop of water remaining in them.
Meaning: keep the garden hoses, sprinklers and pool water lines bone-dry in winter!
As for the interior pipes, advise the tenants to keep the heating on and maintain the temperature at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher at all times.
3) Check the Windows and Doors
A recent survey showed that about 18% of your home’s heat is lost through the windows…
Which means higher energy bills to cover the lost heat.
And if the bills of your rentals are on you, this means lower profitability!
So you definitely want to take the step and examine your rentals’ windows, as well as the doors, carefully.
If they don’t hold up, you can go for weather-stripping and stuff the sides of the windows and doors with inexpensive insulation material.
In addition to that, check if all the vents and doors shut smoothly.
If they don’t, they may have a gap letting in some chilly air. Get them fixed right away!
4) Inspect the Roof, Clear Up the Gutters
If your rental is a house, you’ll have some extra winter prep on your hands.
Climbing up to the top of your property may not be great fun for you, but you’ve got to do it if you want to prevent costly drainage issues.
The debris that naturally gets collected on rooftops and gutters will block proper drainage during rain or snow.
Also, if the roof has gaps with a few missing tiles it could pose a problem because the heap of snow on the roof will bear down on the house causing cracks in the walls… Yikes!
So, make sure the top parts of your rental units are in good shape with the gutters flowing right.
If this is something you can’t do on your own, consider hiring a professional roof and gutter service company to do the job.
Because, yeah, carrying out repairs at such heights can be risky for a non-professional (unless you’re Spiderman!)
5) Prune the Trees
The trees in or around your rental property may also turn into a serious threat for your tenants…
Because there are frequently incidents of fallen trees in mad hailstorms and snowstorms of winter.
Sometimes, a tree (or a branch) might fall right onto the house which can cause irreparable loss of life and property.
Therefore, if your rental property is surrounded by tall branchy trees you MUST check them for any telltale signs of winter damage, like drooping, cracking, an unusual slant in the trunk, etc.
It’s unlikely that a native tree that’s used to standing firm against high winds will fall so quick, but the branches could, under the weight of all that accumulated snow!
However, any non-native, man-made plantation can very easily get knocked down by windy storms.
So, it’s highly recommended to get the trees looked at by an expert before the season of ice and snow rolls in!
The Final Word
To wrap it up: the last thing you’d want as a landlord is getting summoned to court for being negligent to your rentals and renters, isn’t it?
So, make it your first priority to protect your rental property this winter and provide a safe and habitable residence for your tenants.
Talk and discuss your winter plan with the tenants, and document everything said, just in case.
Get a certified company to inspect your rental property and verify them as winter-proof.
And, get this all done ASAP!
Unless, of course, you really look forward to attending frigid courtrooms in chilly winters… Do you?
If you enjoyed this advice, read more tips from our experts on the AQRE Home blog!
– protect your rental property this winter
– protect your property for winter
– prepare home for winter