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5.5 Tips to Winterize your Rental Property to avoid Costly Emergencies!

Brrrrr….. Fall is in the air!!

There are some crucial tips for making sure your property is ready for those colder months. Here is a reminder to be pro-active in your maintenance to prevent costly emergencies that usually end up happening in the middle of the night on a Saturday while you’re away for the holiday!

1 – Have the gutters cleaned! 

A full gutter can lead to water seeping into the home through windows, vents, or cracks in siding causing moisture and mildew growth. If left unnoticed can lead to rotted structures and weakened foundation! .

2 – Have the furnace serviced! 
The furnace hasn’t been used to heat the property in months, and often times during the first real cold the igniter will go out, or sometimes even the circuit board if it hasn’t been serviced in a while. This leaves you with a very unhappy cold tenant and most HVAC companies are booked up for days during the cold so get to this before the emergency happens! o.

3- Fireplace or wood burning stove service! 

Over the spring and summer the chimney has been unused and collecting dust and debris. To prevent a costly fire, have the chimney cleared and cleaned and serviced to maintain it’s structural integrity as well as provide a safe heating source for your tenants.

4 – Insulate exposed pipes!

Often times we think that just because a pipe is in the garage means that it is protected from elements however if your garage is not finished, the exterior building material is not enough to prevent pipes from bursting. Every year on my street alone at least 4 home owners come home to water gushing out of their garage. Water damage can be one of the most intense and costly maintenance emergencies. Take a couple minutes and a couple bucks to wrap any exposed pipes to prevent such disasters.

5 – Cover foundation vents and port holes

While this won’t necessarily prevent a disaster, it is a great idea. Purchasing spigot covers, foundation vent covers, and sealing up any point of entry for additional cold and moisture can help reduce how hard your furnace has to work to keep the house warm which can save on a furnace emergency, and it also reduces your tenants heating bills. Taking the extra step to ensure your tenants are comfortable will go a long way in building a great relationship.

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5.5 – Ensure that your Property Manager has a system in place to inform the tenants on tips they can do throughout the colder months to prevent unnecessary emergencies, and educate them on what to do if there is an emergency in the middle of the night!

I know first hand that during the cold and wet months that emergency line rings off the hook at all hours of the night, and every Saturday and Sunday! If you know any DIY landlords who would like to have their life back so they can focus on the holidays and spending time with friends and family, share with them some of the things you have learned here and have them contact us to learn more about how we can help them reach their goals while gaining freedom!

-Kimberly Winn – VP Of Operations Portland, Salt Lake City, Columbia, Reno.