WINTER WEATHER MAINTENANCE – WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY?
During the winter months, your rental properties need special attention against the season’s harsh weather and temperatures. Keeping on top of these maintenance tasks can keep your tenants and property safe, and help prevent small repairs from morphing into big problems:
- Inspect the trees.
Snow and ice can weigh down branches, causing them to break and fall. This can lead to dangers for your tenants and their property. Have trees professionally inspected before winter and remove any weak or rotted limbs.
- Make a plan for snow removal.
It’s better to know how snow and ice removal will be handled before your first storm of the season. Stock up on salt to keep walks from getting icy and slippery. When ice builds up on sidewalks, expensive slip and fall accidents can result. Find out how soon you need to have snow removed. In some cities, regulations call for as little as 12 hours for snow removal after a storm.
- Check seals and weather stripping on doors and windows.
Drafts around windows and doors can lead to significant increases in heating bills. Inspect the seals around all doors and windows before the cold weather sets in. Replace any that are worn, torn or missing.
- Inspect your insulation.
Insulation in walls and attics can be disturbed by pests or break down over time. In areas like the attic, this can lead to heat bleeding to the outside. That, in turn, can cause snow to melt and refreeze into damaging ice dams. By ensuring that your insulation is up to snuff, you can cut down on the chances of ice dams and reduce heating bills at the same time.
- Replace batteries in digital thermostats.
Modern thermostats are battery operated and won’t communicate with the heating system if batteries go dead. This can leave tenants without heat if the battery dies at the right time. To stay on the safe side, replace all thermostat batteries once a year. A good rule of thumb is to change the battery in the thermostat when you change the clocks for Daylight Savings.
A bit of maintenance now and throughout the winter season can keep tenants safe and protect your property from damage. Adding these winter weather tasks to your to-do list can avoid bigger problems later on and ensure a trouble-free winter.