As Ned Stark liked to say, winter is coming. In the books, the winter brought White Walkers, demons, and darkness. In the real world, extreme temperatures can take a toll on the building structure, seriously jeopardizing every occupant. With that in mind, property landlords and managers must take all precautions. There are different ways to prepare your rental property for winter, so let’s see what they are!
Look for cracks in the wall
Inspecting the wall structure and looking for cracks is imperative. That’s one of the higher priorities on a landlord’s inspection checklist. The areas that could be affected the most are the edges around windows and doors and exterior walls more exposed to the windy side. If necessary, caulking or sealant should be repaired.
Add exterior wall insulation
If your building’s walls are not hollow, you should consider adding an outer layer of insulation if you don’t already have one. This is an efficient way to prevent cold from penetrating through a concrete wall, especially if you want to turn the place into a long-term rental property. Since the heat is transferred quickly through bricks, some buildings have cavities in the wall structure to lower the amount of cold temperature coming through.
If your rental is not built this way, exterior insulation is the answer. Furthermore, it is also a space saver. If you insulate the room from the inside, you will lose 6 to 7 inches of usable space.
Check the plumbing fixtures
Frozen pipes are one of the most critical issues for any property during the winter. Call a plumber and have them inspect all the pipes to ensure there is no damage and check if any part needs to be replaced. Pipes also need foam insulation to stay safe during winter.
Inspect the HVAC system
Having a malfunctioning HVAC system during the winter will not make your occupants happy. It takes just a few minutes to have it checked by a professional.
Monitor the heat temperature
If the tenants leave the place over winter to go on vacation, the rental should be at a steady 55 degrees Fahrenheit when they are away. This will prevent the pipes from freezing. Make sure to remind them about that, and monitor if the heat temperature drops any lower.
Another element that you should inspect to protect your rental property during winter is how well your windows latch when closed. If they are loose, the hot air will leave the rooms quickly. Furthermore, it will be that much harder to keep the place warm, and with the increased use of heating systems, monthly utility bills will only get higher.
If you are subletting an apartment in a building, this won’t be a problem for you. However, for any landlords that rent rooms within a house, or even the entire house, roof leaks present a serious issue. Make sure to check the roof before the rain and snow begin.
The same applies to checking gutters and downspouts.
Check vents for any obstruction
Every place needs good airflow during the winter. If the air is not circulating properly, it may even pose a fire hazard. Before the winter comes, inspect every vent and make sure no critters have built a home there.
Clean the rugs and add one to each room
Having a relatively thick rug will help with keeping the place warm. Since rugs are used every day, make sure to have them deep cleaned before the winter.
Furthermore, it will improve the air quality in the place, because dust will be removed through disinfecting.
Check if the water heater or a thermostat needs fixing or replacement
If there are faulty parts on the water heater or thermostat, you must address them as soon as possible. If there is no hot water, the pipes may experience severe issues during the winter. The thermostat is crucial for regulating the home’s temperature properly, so make sure it is in top condition.
Stock up on tea and other hot beverages
Your tenants will appreciate the effort of adding a pack of tea, coffee, and other winter beverages to help them stay warm during cold days. It won’t cost you much, and it will leave a good impression!
Doing a remodel before winter
As you can see, getting ready before the blizzards start may require more remodeling than it can initially seem. However, these changes are a necessity if you wish to prepare your rental property for winter. If it comes to replacing windows, doors, or roof tiles, it may cost you, but it will be worth it.
Keep in mind that you can also rent a storage unit, store any parts you removed, and try to sell them later to get some cash back. There’s plenty of good reasons to do this, so consider it as an option.
Prepare your rental property for winter and keep your tenants happy
Let’s do a quick summary of the most important ways to prepare your property for the winter:
- Check walls for cracks and add a layer of external insulation
- Call a plumber to take care of any plumbing issues
- Inspect the HVAC system, and repair thermometer and water heater if needed
- Check the roof tiles, clean gutters, and downpours
- Examine vents
- Repair doors, windows, and clean carpets
- Surprise your tenants by dropping off a gift basketed tea, coffee, and other hot beverages.
The winter is long and full of cold days and blizzards. Keeping your tenants warm will leave a good impression, so give them the best protection you can. Happy tenants mean happy landlords; have that in mind before the winter comes!