As the days grow shorter and the leaves start to change color, rental property owners know that the autumn has arrived and the winter season is just around the corner. While this time is quite beautiful, it also serves as a reminder that it's time for owners to prepare their investment properties for colder weather. There are several things property owners can do to prepare, from having the HVAC serviced to cleaning out gutters. In this article, we will discuss some things rental property owners should do to prepare for fall and winter.
Clear the gutters
Even though winters are relatively mild in the Cape Fear region, leaves still begin to fall off trees as we enter the latter part of the year. Therefore, one key task is to clear your gutters and downspouts. Gutters and downspouts are essential in protecting your home from water damage by directing rainwater away from the foundation. However, they can't do their job properly if they become clogged with leaves and other debris. This can lead to water buildup and possible flooding.
Check the roof
In addition to clearing the gutters, it's important to have the roof of your home checked for loose or missing shingles. Strong winds can easily damage shingles (or remove loose ones), leaving your home vulnerable to roof leaks. Be sure to clear any tree branches that may be lying on the roof as well, as heavy branches can cause serious damage if they were to become airborne during a storm.
Trim trees and bushes
Along with ensuring that branches are cleared from the roof, it's crucial to have the trees and bushes on your property trimmed as cooler weather approaches. Loose tree limbs can easily fall if they become weighed down with ice and snow, or they could become airborne in high winds. This could cause serious damage to your property or the surrounding area. Not to mention, untrimmed trees and bushes can also block sidewalks and driveways, making it difficult for tenants to get around. So take the time to trim your trees and bushes before winter hits to help keep your property safe and accessible.
Have the HVAC serviced
As a rental property owner, you know that your tenants rely on you to provide a comfortable and safe home. So when the temperature starts to drop, you need to be sure that your heating system is up to the task of keeping your tenants warm throughout the winter. That's why it's important to have your HVAC system serviced in the fall before the colder weather sets in. A professional HVAC technician can check for potential problems and make sure your system is running efficiently. And if you sign up for preventative maintenance visits (pro tip: you should), you can be sure that your system will be ready for anything the winter has in store.
Check windows and doors for leaks
Checking windows and doors for any drafts or leaks before wintertime is vital for many reasons. First, if they're not sealed properly, you'll have time to have repairs done prior to extreme temperatures. Further, having tightly sealed windows and doors will mean the HVAC has to do less work, and the tenant's electric bill won't be driven up. In addition, making sure windows and doors are airtight helps prevent moisture damage, which is key in coastal areas. By taking a few minutes to check the windows and doors, investment property owners can save themselves time, money, and hassle in the long run.
Ensure smoke detectors are working properly
Autumn is, of course, when many people begin to use their fireplaces more regularly. This makes it the perfect time of year to ensure that smoke detectors are working properly. Smoke detectors play a vital role in protecting homes from fires, and they can provide early warning signs that can help to prevent property damage and loss of life. Unfortunately, smoke detectors can sometimes fail to function properly due to dead batteries or other problems. That's why it's key to test smoke detectors regularly and replace batteries as needed. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep your home safe from fire hazards.
It's important to remember that while the Wilmington area doesn't usually have intense winters, snow and ice storms do occasionally arrive. And while this list may seem a bit overwhelming, working with a professional property management company can take the burden off owners. Sweyer Property Management can coordinate repairs for clients using their core vendors who are licensed and have a proven history of doing excellent work at a fair price. In addition, by readying your property for upcoming change in weather, owners can rest assured that their tenants will have a safe, comfortable fall and winter.
As a leading property management firm in the Cape Fear region, Sweyer Property Management recommends that property owners strongly consider working with a trusted and experienced property management company. Whether it pertains to the eviction process or another area of handling your investment properties, we want to make sure property owners and investors understand the relationship they are entering into when choosing to work with a property management firm.
If you have investment properties and do not use a professional management company, we hope you consider doing so. The experts at Sweyer Property Management will be happy to provide you with a free rental analysis or, if you prefer, give us a call at 910-239-1338.
Sweyer Property Management is a full-service professional property management company specializing in all aspects of rental management. If you're an investor or property owner looking to learn more about our services and what a professional property manager can do for you, reach out to us today at 910.256.3031 or via our website. Sweyer Property Management has exhibited continuous growth throughout the Wilmington, Leland, and Hampstead areas while maintaining an excellent Google+ rating for customer service.
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