Fall is a great season to focus on property upgrades and preventative maintenance. Obviously, you need to provide your tenants with a safe, dry and warm environment. So, incorporate an annual fall renovation checklist and maintenance regimen before winter sets in. This can protect your rental property from seasonal weather damage and the effects of winter from the inside out.
We recommend these essential tasks for you to add to your list:
During the cold winter months, heating systems can dry out the air. This requires home humidity levels to be regulated. Consistent humidity is beneficial for your flooring, your furniture, and your health. Check the relative humidity in your property with a hydrometer tool which can be purchased from local hardware stores. Clean humidifiers regularly during the heating season to avoid bacteria developing resulting in unclean moisture misting out into your rooms.
Open and close doors to see if they swing easily and close properly. It may be necessary to replace damaged weather stripping or make adjustments so doors have positive seals. Fill in cracks around window and door frames with caulk to prevent heat from escaping. Open areas in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold. Consider installing double-glazed, energy-efficient windows if you find leaking air.
Unmaintained gutters can result in interior flooding and exterior damage. Built up ice and water can leak into the roof causing water damage between walls. Clear leaves and other debris clogging gutters as a preventative measure on your renovation checklist.
Replace loose or damaged shingles which can cause leakage problems in the winter. If you have a flat roof, remove outdoor furniture which could cause punctures and leaking. Remove planters in non-glazed clay pots that can become weather damaged.
Insulating exterior pipes can prevent frozen pipes and water damage. Insulate outdoor water pipes and pipes beneath the house that are exposed to the outside air. Burst pipes in the exterior wall of a home are costly, damaging walls, floors, ceilings, and even furniture.
Vacuum clean air filters and replace every three months. Clogged filters won’t operate at full capacity to keep your home at the correct temperature and can increase heating bills. Don’t forget to check the hood of your stove to remove grease on the fan filters.
Upgrade the ground level hazards in exterior areas. Focus on repairing uneven paths or broken steps. Take your time to repair any tripping hazards before they get covered in snow. Install handrails that can support people and prevent slipping on snow or ice. Check that your outdoor lighting is well-lit and waterproof.
Unfortunately, pests can increase in the winter months. Prep your property for mice, rats, and cockroaches. Do this by inspecting and sealing small gaps in walls and basements. This is where they would most often enter from. Developing a knack for pest control can save you hundreds of dollars.
Installing quality curtains can stop heat escaping from a room, as do blackout shades with a thermal lining that also saves energy. Invest in warming textiles, such as down-filled, cashmere or fleece blankets. Heat can also escape through floorboards, so cover up the flooring with some rugs made of fabrics that offer insulation like wool.
More fires occur in winter than any other season. Fall is the best time to review the fire safety in your property as part of your renovation checklist. Change batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check and replace fire extinguishers if necessary, and make sure fire evacuation procedures are clear for your tenants.
Once you have completed your fall renovation checklist you have prepared your property for winter. Renovations add value to your property and can be low-cost. When your property is maintained and renovated to a high standard, you can introduce home design improvements such as investing in statement pieces and decor for your living room walls.
Property maintenance is required throughout the year as both a legal obligation and as a contribution to a healthy landlord-tenant relationship. At Blueground, we pride ourselves in providing professional maintenance in all our properties for best-in-class rentals. If you’d like to learn more about our services and how we can help you maintain your property get in touch, we’d love to talk.