As fall begins to blanket the country, temperatures are dropping. It is the time of year to make sure all of your winterizing is complete before it becomes too late. The last thing you want to do is fight the weather as you try and winterize your properties. There is only so much that your tenants may be responsible for and it may not be a bad idea to make sure everything is ready. What are a few things you need to pay attention to for wintering the property?
1. Water Pipes – You want to make sure that all of your plumbing is protected from arctic temperatures. The slightest gap in the wrong place can allow the cold air to freeze the pipes causing them to burst. While much of this may depend on the kinds of property you own, it still isn’t a bad idea to make sure that the elements won’t affect the water supply. A busted pipe in the middle of winter can make for a miserable experience for yourself and your renter.
2. The Roof – Your tenants don’t want to be in the middle of watching a movie when a drop of water hits their expensive television set, and you don’t want the headache of what water damage can do to a home. Give the roof a good examination and repair weakened or damaged areas before the rain and snow do additional harm. Repairing the areas now will be less expensive than replacing the entire roof if the supports become compromised by water.
3. Outer Walls – Between the elements and nature the home can become riddled with holes that need to be sealed up. For much of the same reason as the roof, you don’t want the additional damage to compound a problem that you could have fixed with a cheap bottle of spray foam. This foam expands to seal holes and cracks providing a layer of protection while you develop a strategy for a permanent solution. Compromises in the wrong areas of the house can allow pipes to freeze and water to damage the wall’s integrity.
4. Hoses/Sprinkler Systems – If you have a sprinkler system installed in the landscaping, now would be a good time to drain the lines. If your tenants use a hose, remind them that freezing water within the line can cause it to split. There should be no chance of water freezing in the system as the repairs could cost you quite a bit of money. Just because the pipes may be buried a few inches under the ground doesn’t mean they are safe from freezing.
5. Footings/Base – Examine the footings of the home and make sure that cracks haven’t begun to form in the cement. You want your renters to feel secure from the elements while providing safety to your investment from a leaky basement. Cracks or other compromises within the cement should be repaired as soon as possible in order to avoid working with the problem when the temperatures drop for the winter.
These are just a few things that you may want to consider when examining your properties for the winter. While your tenants may have responsibilities according to the contract, there is nothing wrong with double checking their work to make sure that your investment is secure. What winterizing steps have you made to protect your properties this winter?