Whether winter for you means curling up by the fire and watching the snow flutter from the sky, or it just gets a little wetter and colder it’s important to be ready. Winter for many reasons can take a toll on a property and some of the most important preparations need be made around a home if you want it to weather the winter months.
From indoors to outdoors here are a few key maintenance tasks to complete on your rental property.
Fireplaces are great and can be a real draw for a rental property, especially in colder regions. Spending a cold evening with a crackling fire softly illuminating the living room is one of winter's simplest pleasures. However, if soot and ash build up in the chimney it can lead to reduced airflow and dangerous gases like carbon monoxide building up inside the home as a natural by-product of the fire.
To avoid potentially dangerous scenarios like this it is well worth getting a professional in routinely to check and clean your properties chimney. The last thing you want as a landlord is to have your tenants calling on a cold winter evening because they lit a fire and the house filled with potentially dangerous smoke.
Gutters can easily become clogged especially during Autumn with the myriad of leaves being shed form the trees. When this happens gutters fail to do their job - rerouting rainwater. Instead, they fill up and overflow leaving rainwater marks down the side of the property, and can even sag and break. This only gets worse as the weather gets to freezing temperatures.
Replacing guttering can be expensive and it’s completely unnecessary. Do a routine check of your rental properties gutters every year and you can easily avoid this unnecessary maintenance expense.
When you do do the check, you'll also want to visually assess them for any damage that could cause problems down the road, like cracks or misalignment, and consider installing gutter guards to help prevent buildup in the future.
Especially if your tenant's bills are included in the rent you will want to keep energy bills down. Even if they’re paying their own energy bills though, showing that you care about your tenants and their energy bills will help ensure your relationship remains good throughout their tenancy.
Drafts are one of the most common culprits for rising energy bills. The obvious culprits are doors and window frames which often shed heat fast. However, less considered culprits of drafts are the attic and the basement.
Attics and basements are often the worst insulated rooms in your house, and other locations — including everywhere from recessed lighting to a cantilevered floor — can be just as troublesome. Once you've located them, however, the good news is that there are a variety of ways to handle different leaks and often they are inexpensive and will be greatly appreciated by your tenants.
The very last thing you want in the dead of winter if for your tenant to call you up teary-eyed because part of a tree has fallen through the roof or crashed through a window.
Not only is this going to be a completely unnecessary and big expense to get fixed but it could also mean your tenants end up without a safe, habitable place to stay.
Unfortunately, when there’s heavy ice or snow, branches can all to easily crack and fall, damaging anything below them. To save on major repair bills it’s well worth assessing the trees near your property and ensuring any potentially risky tree limbs are lopped off before they have a chance to crush your property.
On another note, make sure the leaves get raked off your lawn as leaving piles of leaves on the lawn could lead to the grass getting smothered and significant lawn damage that will be obvious come Spring.
Prepping a property for winter can take a little bit of additional effort, but it’s well worth doing the rounds to ensure a property isn’t at risk during the winter months. In the long run, this will help prolong a property's life and help minimize expensive surprise maintenance bills.
Thanks for reading and we hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that the purposes of this article is for general information. We are not licensed financial or legal professionals and as such nothing in this article should be understood to be financial or legal advice. If you need financial or legal assistance please seek the help of a competent professional.
As the property owner, you’re responsible for non-compliance with snow removal ordinances, so it’s best if you make sure snow removal equipment is available. You may even find if you check the local bylaws that you are required to keep public thoroughfares that cross our property free from snow too...