Cold weather can cause a great deal of damage to property however there are steps that you can take. Landlords winterizing your properties is important and you shouldn’t depend on your tenant to prepare your property for the winter months. I put together some best practices for winterizing your properties.
Some of these ideas are fairly straightforward and not expensive remedies however other items need to be in your overall planning for maintenance.
Eliminate dead limbs and trim away anything growing over the house or rubbing against the exterior & windows.
Generally, a roof inspection is in order. Check for missing shingles, and roof ventilation, and perhaps add more insulation to the attic. Ensure the roof drainage system including downspouts is clear of debris to avoid ice damming along the roofline.
There is an ancient saying water finds its own path. Visually inspect your property looking for areas where there is existing water damage. Find the source and do the necessary repairs. Any outside water faucets should be turned off and drained before freezing weather hits.
It is good practice to make an effort to seal air leaks and avoid the possibility of dampness, mold, and mildew. Regular culprits are door seals and outdated windows.
Windows & Door
Windows are complicated but can be a source of aggravation. They can be both a source of water and air leaks and are likely best placed in your overall maintenance planning. If the windows are old and outdated perhaps consider upgrading them. Doors are a source of leakage, both heat from inside and bad weather pounding on them. You should install screen doors to provide a buffer and check door seals for leaks.
Snow and ice buildup
Of course, you will have to wait until there is bad weather to get a good idea of problem areas. Check areas of your property where water and bad weather is causing water drainage issues.
Furnace and HVAC
Schedule a checkup for the furnace to ensure it is clean and in good order. You need an efficient HVAC system in order to encourage your tenants to keep the property warm at a fair cost to them.
It can’t hurt to insulate exposed pipes in the property. Particularly in unfinished basements. A frozen pipe that burst is a potential source of serious damage.
Yearly maintenance and cleaning of the fireplace is a good idea. Your service provider can check the exterior chimney to make sure that the roof flashing is in good repair.
Best laid plans
It is probably a better idea to have an annual plan for your property in place because you can spread the cost out. However, winter is upon us and some things are easy to take care of. We shouldn’t depend on tenants to invest in the capital costs of the property.