Rental Property Maintenance Tips for The Fall
Searching for rental property maintenance tips? Even though we’re still enjoying warm days, fall is around the corner, and with the start of fall, it’s important for every landlord to take steps to get their rental properties ready for the winter months because rain and snow are on the way.
If you haven’t made improvements to your rental properties during the summer, this article will share with you several improvements that you should make to your rental properties now, so that your rental properties can be ready for fall and winter.
Rental Property Maintenance Tips
The first thing that you should do to get your rental property ready for the winter months is to clean the gutters and inspect the roof.
To clean the gutters, it’s best to safely use a shop vac to vacuum out any dirt, dust, leaves, or debris from the gutters, then you should use a hose to test the gutters to verify that they are functioning properly.
If your gutters have any cracks or broken pieces where water is freely, they should be repaired before the start of the rainy season in Portland because rain will pool where those gutters are not working, and that excess water could cause foundation damage to your rental.
After ensuring that your gutters are functioning as they should, the next step is to thoroughly inspect the roof.
Look for Algae, Moss, or Piles of Leaves
If you have binoculars, you can begin your DIY roof checkup from the ground. Start by walking around your house and checking your roof for piles of leaves or other growth or debris, all of which can cause serious damage to a roof. They can trap moisture, which can seep into the sheathing below your shingles and even into the structural elements of the roof itself. You should clear these away immediately.
Moss is especially dangerous because it soaks up rainwater like a sponge. The moisture can cause the wooden structure underneath your roof to mold and decay, which can compromise the structural integrity of your roof.
So, how do you get rid of pesky moss? You can apply moss killer and brush the offending moss away with a broom or brush, especially if the infestation is new. When you have your roof re-shingled, consider buying moss- and algae-resistant shingles—they may be more expensive than the regular shingles, but they can keep moss away for the lifetime of the roof.
Look for Buckled or Curled Shingles
Hot air in your attic can cause your shingles to warp, buckle, or curl. (This is typically an issue with asphalt shingles.) Misshapen shingles can compromise the integrity of your roof, letting in water and causing poor ventilation, so they should be replaced. If more than one-third of your shingles are curling during your roof inspection and repair process, it’s time to re-shingle the entire roof.
Check for Damaged, Missing, or Old Shingles
Missing or damaged shingles can also let water seep through your roof. If you have wooden shingles or wood shake shingles, inspect them for signs of dry rot, either from the ground or from a ladder (don’t walk on a wooden shingle or shake roof). Asbestos, slate, or clay tile roofs can suffer from breakage, so look for cracked, chipped, broken, or altogether missing shingles. If you’re performing a metal roof inspection, check for signs of corrosion, rust, stress wrinkling, or other wear.
Inspect the Roof Up Close
If you can, get up on a ladder and perform your roof inspection up close. While you’re up there, look for damage to the flashings around the chimney, dormers, and vent pipes. (Flashings are the metal materials on your roof that redirect water.) Damaged or corroded flashings can let water into the interior structure of your roof and could contribute to rot in the structure of your roof and the walls of your home. If you see damage, you’ll probably need to replace the flashings.
Investigate Your Attic
If your home has an attic, it’s important to get in there and look for signs of water leakage through your roof, especially after heavy rain. Doing so can help you spot damage that may not have been visible from the ground or your ladder. While running through your roof check, inspect your rafters and the wooden interior of your roof for signs of moisture, mold, and rot. If you see any water damage, you may need to fix your leaking roof.
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the rental property maintenance elements. Even if you can’t afford to have a professional roof contractor inspect your roof twice a year, you can safely and cautiously check it yourself for signs of damage and wear. Regular DIY roof inspections will also help you get to know your roof, so you’ll be able to recognize problems before they get too serious.
After checking the gutters and the roof, you should also have the property inspected and cleaned up if necessary.
This means that you should have overgrown trees, shrubs, or brush on the property trimmed back, debris removed, and sprinklers capped just in time for the winter months.
Once your property has been cleaned up, you should also verify with your tenant that they have a snow shovel.
If your tenant does not have a snow shovel, you should provide them with one, and a 10-pound bag of salt. that they can use to salt their driveway and walkway during winter.
Last, of all, another rental property maintenance tip check the doors and windows on your rental property for seals that may be broken, falling apart, or in need of being replaced.
Door and window seals are the first line of defense at keeping the draft out of the property during the winter months and keeping the cold air in a rental property during the summer. These seals should be replaced as soon as there are visibly breaking down with time.
Thankfully, you can easily replace door and window seals yourself as well as buy a kit to weatherize the front door of your rental property at your local Walmart.
What To Do Inside Your Rental Property
Once you followed our tips to ensure that your rental property maintenance is weatherized and ready to handle colder weather, the next thing is to inspect the inside of your property and start taking steps to ensure that the interior of the property is ready for the winter as well.
Start by replacing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside the property. Fall is a great time of year to do this because those batteries should be replaced at least once a year since they are the first line of defense that will alert your tenants if carbon monoxide levels increase during the winter.
Next, you should hire a local HVAC company to come and tune up the furnace inside your rental property. This ensures that the furnace will be able to light up quickly and warm the house from the first moment that your tenant intends to use it this winter.
After taking care of the furnace, you should also inspect the rental property from top to bottom to look for leaks and water damage. This is important because any leaks or water damage inside the rental property can turn into mold very quickly during colder months so it’s best to do everything that you can to eliminate the leaks and water damage now before they turn into larger problems later.
Before we wrap up this article, another important thing that you should do to get your rental property ready for the winter months in Portland is to instruct your tenant to have at least one fan turned on during the day when they are away from home during the colder months.
Keeping a fan circulating the air inside the rental property when the tenant is away will lower the chance of mold growth because most frequently grows during the winter when tenants weatherize their homes, and they often forget to circulate the air inside the property.
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