How to Prepare your Rental for Winter
Saskatchewan Winters are known for their beauty! However, low temperatures and snowfall can impact your investment properties and the rental experiences of your tenants. As such, it’s essential to prepare your investment properties for the cold Winter months. This will help prevent property damage and keep emergency maintenance issues to a minimum.
Keep reading to learn how you can prep your property for Winter weather!
Prepare Interior and Exterior Pipes
In cold weather, pipes can stall and burst. This can cause major water damage and impact your tenant’s safety. We recommend winterizing your interior and external pipes or hiring a specialist to do it for you.
When putting away outdoor and hoses, disconnect all line connections and drain the water from them. Additionally, make sure the spigots are fully closed, as leaks can cause pipe blockages that lead to burst pipes.
Change Ceiling Fan Directions
When you change the direction of your ceiling fans, it impacts the temperature of your property! Instead of drawing air up, reversed ceiling fans will push warm air down and keep heating bills lower.
Check for Cracks in the Walls
Even a small crack can cause drafts that inconvenience your tenants and cause utility bills to rise exponentially. If your tenants report drafts or cool pockets of air in the house, we recommend conducting an inspection or hiring an expert to find the source of the issue.
Assess the Roof
Fixing your roof before Winter is critical. If your property’s roof has a crack, small leak, or even missing shingles, it can cause major heat loss in the interior of the property. As a result, tenants will likely turn up their thermostats to keep the rental at a reasonable temperature.
In addition, when snow collects on the roof and then melts, your rental property may develop a leak. You can check the roof from both the outside and inside of your property. Before climbing onto the roof, check your attic to see if there is any light coming into the house from the roof. From there, you can head outside and take a look at the condition your shingles are in.
Inspect Heating Systems
Heating a property can be costly, especially in Winter. As such, it’s important to inspect the property’s heating systems. Make sure furnace filters are replaced and ensure the water heater is running efficiently.
Check the Chimney
If your investment property has a fireplace, regular maintenance is critical to the safety of your tenants and your rental. If your tenants only use the fireplace in Winter, have it inspected and cleaned before the weather changes.
Unmaintained chimneys can easily become a health and safety hazard. Cleaning and inspecting your chimney before winter hits will prevent house fires and smoke damage, both of which can put your tenants at risk.
If your tenants don’t use your fireplace, consider investing in a chimney pillow. This will reduce utility bills, prevent drafts, and keep rodents from getting into the house or building dangerous nests in the chimney.
Examine the Doors and Windows
Windows and doors are often places where cold air enters the house and causes unpleasant drafts.
To prevent this, conduct a thorough inspection of all the doors and windows on the property. Be sure to check the weatherstripping, window seals and locks, and ensure no doors are warped.
Prepare for Emergencies
To show your tenants that you value their safety, consider providing them with an emergency kit when they move in. While this might seem like a strange idea, it could be critical in keeping your tenants safe and healthy in the event of an emergency, such as an extended power outage, or in extreme weather conditions.
If you decide to prepare an emergency kit for your renters, consider including the following items.
- Waterproof Matches
- Bottled Water
- A Power Bank
- Survival Blankets
- Emergency food rations
In lieu of providing tenants with an emergency kit, you can also provide them with a list of suggested items and explain their use or split the cost of the supplies with your tenant. At the end of the day, doing what you can to keep tenants safe is key to being a great landlord!
The best method to guarantee that your property investment remains in great shape and ensure that your tenants are as comfortable and safe as possible during harsh Winter months is to proactively perform property maintenance. Planning ahead and being prepared will save you time, stress, and money.
Self-management necessitates constant attention to even the smallest details of a property. As each season changes, you must be watchful and carry out the necessary maintenance tasks. When you work with Leenan Property Management, we’ll treat your property like it’s our own.
Contact Leenan Property Management today for the best options if you need assistance managing your rental properties!