Last modified on December 3rd, 2013
By Bryan Ives
As winter approaches, you may need to turn your attention to seasonal property maintenance. Even your occupied rental properties may need additional care throughout the winter season, and not all of your property owners may be aware of the proper procedures for winterization. You may wish to debrief any applicable renters and property owners about the maintenance that is required and the costs associated.
Winterize the Pools
Pools need to be properly winterized as soon as possible once the weather turns. It can sometimes be unpredictable when a cold snap could hit and the temperature could drop below freezing. The winterization process is different depending on which state your properties reside in. Northern states will usually need to have their pipes properly winterized while states closer to the south may simply need to drain the pools. Your pool maintenance company can direct you as to the appropriate procedures for your location.
Maintain the Roofs
A build up of snow on the roof of a rental property can quickly become dangerous. Your renters may need to be properly educated on proper roof maintenance or your property owners may want to invest in a scheduled maintenance crew as necessary. Locations that don’t get severe winter weather may still want to hire a gutter cleaning service to prevent the build up of debris that can clog drains and cause water backup. Excess water left on a roof can potentially lead to damaging leaks.
Inspect Potential Outdoor Hazards
As weather gets more extreme, the potential for trees and branches to fall on a property increases. You may want to ensure that all of the trees on your properties have been properly maintained and trim any branches that may represent a hazard during times of high wind or heavy ice and snow.
Repair or Replace HVAC Systems
If any of the HVAC systems in your properties are old or running poorly, you may want to have them replaced before winter hits. Otherwise, they could break down during the peak of the winter season and require an emergency repair or installation. This could lead to both unhappy tenants and additional expenses. You may also want to change the filters on your HVAC systems at this time.
Clear Vacant Units
When the chill hits, it’s more important than ever to take care of any units that may be vacant. You may want to inspect vacant units each week to ensure that there hasn’t been a dangerous build up of snow. In some areas, vacant units that remain vacant for a significant amount of time are also at risk for a break in. Security systems may be a wise investment for landlords that have units vacant through the winter.
When preparing for the winterization of multiple properties, you may be able to get discounts from maintenance companies and contractors. Passing these savings along to your property owners will show your own value and encourage them to trust your judgment.
Comments by Bryan Ives