Autumn is here, and with the falling leaves and temperatures come several things you should do to get your property ready for the changing seasons. Tackling this fall maintenance checklist each year will help your property keep its value and prevent more significant maintenance issues down the road. If your rental is vacant, now is a great time to do these fall maintenance tasks. If it’s occupied, it’s a good idea to check in with your tenants and ask them to help handle these chores in preparation for winter.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and change their batteries.
- Protect your lawn by keeping your yard cleared of leaves.
- Extend the life of your shingles by removing leaves, branches and other debris from your roof.
- Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris, and check for cracks and leaks. Make sure the downspouts are far enough from the house to keep rainwater away from your foundation.
- Winterize your air conditioning unit with a routine maintenance check-up, and cover the exterior unit for the winter.
- Attics and basements are often a bit warmer than the outside air, and that makes them attractive to critters. Check for openings animals could get through and either seal them up or cover them with metal screening to prevent wildlife from taking up residence in your rafters.
- If your house has exposed brick, look for cracks in the mortar that could let in moisture. Water that gets in mortar or between bricks will expand when it freezes and cause further damage.
Related: Learn about our new maintenance request system. It’s been popular with tenants and landlords alike!
Prepare early for freezing temperatures
A little time and effort put into protecting your house against freezing temperatures can save you from significant expenses and headaches when cold weather hits. Make sure all exterior vents to the crawl space are closed, and consider insulating water pipes. Also, be sure to let your tenants know what to do when the forecast dips below freezing.
- Leave water dripping from faucets.
- Open sink cabinet doors.
- Disconnect hoses from exterior spigots.
- Report frozen or burst pipes or loss of power immediately.
Help your tenants stay safe when the weather turns cold
Sometimes your tenants might try to supplement central heat or save money by using space heaters to heat individual rooms in the house. Make sure they know how to use these items appropriately, both for their safety and to protect your property. Tenants should only use heaters that are approved for indoor use. Heaters should also be kept away from curtains, furniture and blankets.
All these tips and more, including what to do in case of a loss of power, are included in the Winter Weather Preparedness checklist we send out to tenants each fall.
Related: Learn how to handle maintenance emergencies at your rental property.
Don’t let winter and colder temperatures sneak up on you! Now is the perfect time to work through a fall maintenance checklist that will keep your rental property in tip-top shape for years to come.