Property Management Blog

Time to Winterize Your Rental Property!

System - Friday, December 30, 2011

The cold weather has arrived!  It’s time to make sure your rental home has been winterized.  Here are a few tips to help you make this happen:

Turn Off Water:  Turn off the water supply to any exterior hoses or sprinkler systems.  Drain the water from the hoses, and drain the entire sprinkler system of water.  Don’t forget to address any water lines from AC units.

Reverse Your Fans:  Reverse the direction of any ceiling fans.  Switch the blades to rotate clockwise to recirculate warm air that rises to the highest point in the room back down into the room.

Wrap Pipes:  Insulate exposed supply piping in the crawlspace, and wrap or cap hose spigots.  Wrap your water heater, too.

Caulk Windows:   Sometimes you can see a substantial gap in the window framing just by looking.  If you can’t see the gap, it may still be there.  Your tenant will sure feel it on a cold, windy day.

Change Furnace Filters:  If you use traditional filters, replace them monthly.  You can also invest in a reusable filter that you (or your tenant) can clean and reuse.  Once a month just rinse with water and it comes out looking new!

Program the Thermostat:  A programmable thermostat is affordable and easy to install, and will give your tenants control over their heating bills. 

Install Weather Stripping:  Weather stripping is a simple addition that can make a big difference.  Install weather stripping around all external doors. This will also save your tenant money on energy bills.

Insulate the Attic: Beyond the obvious benefits of lower heat bills for your tenant, a well-insulated attic can avert a major leak event.  With an uninsulated attic, the warm roof melts rooftop snow too quickly and the subsequent water, trapped by unmelted snow and ice lower on the roof, has nowhere to drain.  Snowmelt blocked by an ice dam can find its way through the roofing material and into the house, causing a whole host of new problems — damage to ceilings or walls and potentially inviting mold issues down the road.

Clean Gutters:  Remove leaves and other debris from gutters. Blockages add extra weight that strains the mounting of your gutters and can contribute to the formation of ice dams and flooding into the home.  Overflowing gutters can allow water to accumulate in the soil near a basement wall, leading to seepage or even a flooded basement.

Hopefully these tips will help you keep your tenants warm and happy this winter and might even save both you and your tenants a bit of money!

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