What You Need to Know before the Cold Season Arrives
Winter comes with many risks to rental properties which can lead to unnecessary costs for the landlord. Fortunately, all these risks are preventable. Property management companies hire professional maintenance teams to ensure the comfort and safety of tenants all year long. It’s important that you winterize your property before the winter arrives. Taking these measures ensures that you will spend less money on repairs come spring. You and your tenants are likely to enjoy a safe and cozy winter if you take the necessary actions.
Here are some of the actions you can carry out to prepare your property for the cold season:
Check the Heating System
Hire a technician to inspect your boilers or heaters making sure the system is clean and in good shape. The technician will check to see if the heater can achieve the manufacturer’s rated efficiency and also measures carbon monoxide leakage. It’s advisable to regularly service your heating system to keep it working throughout the year. Checking your heating system before the cold season saves you time, money, and the hectic lines at the repair store (the mad hardware rush is definitely a thing you don’t want to have to learn first-hand).
Inspect the Pipes and Walls
If the temperatures drop inside your buildings, the pipes are likely to freeze. When water freezes inside of the pipes it expands, putting your pipes at risk of cracking. The expansion of frozen water may lead to bursting of pipes causing water damage in the building.
The best way to prevent this is by keeping your pipes warm with a foam cardigan called lagging. Lagging reduces the heat lost and insulates the pipes to keep them from freezing. Check all the external pipes for breakage, bursts, or leaks. Make sure the pipes are well secured to the wall and while you are at it check the walls around the building for cracks that can let in water.
Consider An Emergency Insurance Policy for Your Property
Securing an insurance home policy that covers your buildings for winter and other damages can make a lot of sense. Get the right insurance coverage for your rental properties and always make sure it’s up to date. A good property manager can help you assess all of the various options in the marketplace. Not all insurance products include rental properties, so it’s important to confirm you have the right landlords’ building and contents insurance. No one can predict an emergency, and it happens at the most inconvenient time, but when it happens, you will be glad you had insurance in place. In case of an emergency, the insurance company will swiftly come to your rescue.
Cleaning the Gutters and Chimney
Clean the chimney if your house has a wood fireplace and for the safety of your tenants provide them with proper fireguard. Gutters and drainpipes get clogged with leaves as time goes by. If the blockage is unattended to, water starts to leak through the roof down to the walls of your house. Clean the foliage and dirt in the gutters to avoid water blockage. Be aware of your roofs load-rating and pay attention to the amount of snow on your roof. Trim the trees near your buildings because they are to blame for the blocked gutters. Weak tree branches can fall due to snow piling on them and high winds causing property damage or injuries to the tenants. Prevent this by trimming the branches before winter comes.
Insulate Your Buildings
A large percentage of the heat in your house is lost through the roof. You can keep your house warm using less energy by properly insulating the walls and ceiling. The cost of making these improvements is less compared to the cost of repairing winter damage. Avoid condensation because it causes mold growth and rotting on surfaces. Condensation takes place when moist air comes into contact with surfaces of lower temperatures. Adequate ventilation, closed doors and open windows while cooking all help in preventing condensation. We know that hot air rises, thus a lot of energy is used to heat a room with high ceilings. Switch your ceiling fan to reverse this flow and push down the hot air from the ceiling.
Making your property ready for winter ensures your tenants are happy and safe during any harsh weather. Stock winter essentials such as salt or ice melt and prepare for snow removal when the weather calls for it.
As winter approaches, we’d love to speak with you about your property and your investment goals in the city. Our goal is to provide quality care for your property portfolio, while increasing its profitability. We look forward to jumping on a call with you.