As an asset that generates income, you want your rental property to yield consistent income for a long time. Thus, it needs to be properly protected from damage. One of the most effective ways is to do this and get your property rent-ready is to annually winterize your rental unit.
The Need to Winterize a Rental Property
Winterizing a property means that, as a landlord, you’re taking the initiative to prevent your unit from getting serious damage during the colder weather and elements. This task must therefore be done before the season commences.
All the essential property systems should be inspected to ensure that they’re fully functional and reliable even when the temperatures go very low.
When you winterize a rental property, you are able to:
Benefit from Energy Savings
During the winter, energy bills can rise so if you have successfully winterized your rental home, it will be protected from the cold through insulation. The energy you save will lead to more savings.
Avoid Unnecessary Repair Works
Proper upkeep of your rental space is required through periodic inspections and maintenance. Hiring an expert to perform the inspection and get your HVAC system, fireplace and chimney, and plumbing in top shape prior to winter, can mean minimal repair costs throughout the season.
Secure Your Property for Critical Events
Snowstorms and blizzards can result in broken or frozen pipes. Roof and gutter damage can also result from this kind of weather event. But if you prepared well and winterized your rental unit, you can foresee these potential damages and build solutions to counter risks.
Although you can only prepare so much, it’s still worth it to take this step to limit problems. It also ensures your property retains its great condition over time and shows tenants that you prioritize their comfort and safety.
Tips To Winterize Your Rental Property
While it sounds like a challenging task to take on, winterizing your rentals can be straightforward. You can start by creating a to-do list to make it easy to check off required items before winter comes. Some prepare during the fall season, but you can start even earlier.
Below are our recommended tips for winterizing your rental unit:
Perform a Gutter Cleanup
As the autumn season ends and leaves are no longer scattered about, you can contact a professional to make sure the entire area is free from leaves and any debris. It will limit the incidence of dead leaves crowding the gutters, which causes icicles to form in winter. This can result in leaks that lead to water damage.
Ensure You Flush and Wrap the Water Heater
It’s understandable that water heaters make utility bills spike in winter, given that there is heavy usage. That’s why you need to make sure the water heater is efficiently working. You can flush it and place insulation around it to maximize the heat as much as possible.
Adjust Ceiling Fans for Reversal
The use of ceiling fans during summer is standard, but they can also be used during the winter season. You can start by adjusting the direction of your fan to rotate clockwise. It serves to keep warm air down and increase your comfort. Doing this allows you to save more energy and reduce the heating costs. Try this tip during winter and check how much you saved.
Perform Air Filter Replacement
Replace your air filters every couple of months, or ensure that your HVAC system’s air filters have been replaced before the arrival of the cold season. It’s also wise to invest in top-quality filters so they last longer and offer more protection.
Don’t Miss Winterizing Doors and Windows
Given that doors and windows are access points, they are naturally the main areas for heat loss. If you notice that your utility bills have soared in winter, it’s a good idea to consider more insulation around your doors and windows. You can resolve it with a mix of caulk and weatherstripping to limit the loss of heat around the rental unit.
Use a Chimney Balloon
For rental units that have a chimney, you need to protect it in the wintertime. Ask if the renters actively use the fireplace before considering placing a chimney balloon. It vastly lowers the utility costs and keeps pests and creatures from using it as an access point to enter the rental home.
Do a Roof Inspection
In preparation for the winter season, it’s best to do a proper inspection of the roof. Go into the attic and take time to check for water stains or sunlight slicing through areas that should be fully covered. You can also engage the services of a roof expert to provide you with vital information on the state of your roof.
Shut Down Crawl Space Vents
For properties with a crawlspace, it’s essential to close off the screened air vents around the foundation’s perimeter. This way, you can ward off the cold air and maintain the regular temperature of the crawl space, which benefits your pipes, and other critical home systems.
Cover Host Spigots
Your outdoor water spigots also require winterizing. Hoses should be disconnected and spigots and pipes need to be drained. You can also place covers on outdoor faucets.
A simple styrofoam spigot cover will do the job unless you live in an area where the freezing lasts for weeks. Consider adding crumpled newspapers and old rags around the cover to build more insulation and protect them even more.
Winterizing your rental property can help protect it against costly damages. If you lack the time, consider working with a professional management company. Rent Easy simplifies property management processes for landlords. We take charge of finding high-quality tenants for vacant units, running tenant screenings, and keeping your property well-maintained, which includes winterizing the rental.
For property emergencies, and challenging situations where a tenant needs to be evicted, we also lend our dedicated assistance. Contact RentEasy today to enjoy a full suite of rental property management services!