As summer temperatures lower, it is a great time to prepare your rentals for a cooler climate. Here are six fall maintenance tasks that will help you feel confident your rental property is ready to weather the change.
Seal gaps and holes
As weather gets colder, little uninvited guests may try to find their way into a warm home - your tenant’s nice, warm home. Get ahead of these pests (and avoid a future phone call from your tenant) by filling in any gaps and holes you find as you inspect your property. If you own a brick structure, be sure not to mistake weep holes for gaps. Since brick holds moisture, it needs small vertical openings to ventilate internal walls, avoiding mildew, rot, and damp conditions. With this in mind, instead of using solid materials, be sure to fill weep holes with breathable ones, like fiberglass screen wire or scouring pad material.
Clean out dryer vents
Clogged dryer vents can start fires, but there’s an easy way to avoid this tragic outcome: clean your vents annually. The fall is a good time to do this because cool, dry weather can increase static electricity, which in turn can light leftover lint on fire. By cleaning vents annually, not only will you prevent tragedy, but you can also increase dryer efficiency, ultimately lowering utility bills. This will likely make the person who has to pay those bills very happy.
Related: Rental Property Maintenance Checklist: The Landlord's Guide On Making Repairs
Repair driveway and walkway cracks
Prevent future injuries by repairing hazards in your driveways and walkways. As cracks form and warp pavement, they become hazardous to your tenants and visitors. Your tenants may trip and fall while bringing in groceries, or young trick-or-treaters may injure themselves while walking to the door. By correcting these uneven surfaces, you can help someone avoid serious injury. Additionally, maintaining hazard-free surfaces may make snow clearing easier in the winter as you glide your shovel over smoother pavement.
Related: Complete Property Maintenance Checklist: Rising Up To The Fall Challenge
Protect your pipes
Nobody wants to deal with the aftermath of a pipe burst from freezing temperatures. To avoid this scenario, there are some things you can do: shut off outside faucets, and while you’re at it, remove and drain all hoses connected to them. Inspect your pipes for leaks and weaknesses, and install heat tape to warm at-risk pipes. Also, look for and seal spaces where cold air can enter your home, like spaces around electrical wiring, pipes, and dryer ducts. In really cold climates, even the smallest gap letting in freezing cold air could be enough to freeze a pipe. Finally, ensure the temperature inside the home is above 32 degrees, especially in unfinished areas, like basements.
Related: Home Maintenance Costs: Top 6 Easy Tips To Save Your Budget
Flush your water heater
Overtime, sediment can settle at the bottom of your water tank, building a barrier between the heating element and the water. Not only does this reduce the efficiency of heating water, but it also reduces the lifespan of your water tank. Flush your water heater every year before temperatures get colder. As the water heater efficiently heats water, your tenants will be happier with quicker access to hot water, you’ll lower utility bills, and you won’t be slammed with a large water-heater replacement bill
Get your heating system inspected
While we’re on the topic of heat, you want to be sure your heating system is in working order. Suddenly not having hot air in the winter is, at the very least, an inconvenient experience for you and your tenants. Instead of losing a good tenant over an incident like this during lease renewal, be sure to schedule a maintenance visit to fine tune your heating system.
Scheduling maintenance tasks through the TenantCloud interface can streamline your workload so nothing falls through the cracks. This easy-to-use maintenance feature allows you to store your appliances’ information, like make and model, for easy access and to set your maintenance schedule based on that information. You’ll get a notification every time one of your appliances needs recurring work done. If an appliance needs extra care, you can also use TenantCloud’s calendaring system to set one-off reminders for follow-up needs.
With these six fall maintenance tasks, you’ll be able to reduce tenant turnover by keeping them happy, lower your likelihood of dealing with crises, and save yourself money over time.