7 of the Best Ways to Winterize Rental Properties
Winter is here, and as a rental property owner or manager, you’re likely aware of the potential risks that cold weather poses to your rental properties. Frozen pipes, broken boilers, and high energy bills are just some of the potential hazards you face. However, taking the necessary precautions for winterizing your rental properties can significantly reduce the risk of property damage and financial losses. In this blog post, our experts at United Structural Systems share some proven and practical tips that can help you keep your tenants comfortable throughout the winter season.
1. Inspect & Repair the Property's Exterior
The first step in winterizing your rental property is to assess the exterior of the property for any damage that could allow heat to escape or water to enter. Check the roof, windows, doors, siding, foundations, and gutters. Ensure that everything is secure, insulated, and free from cracks or leaks. Repair any damage or wear before the colder weather sets in.
2. Repair the Foundation
The foundation is an essential part of your rental property, and it's the first line of defense against winter elements. You may want to allocate some budget for sealing cracks and gaps and repairing any other instances of foundation damage. Sealing these areas is a great way to help prevent moisture from making its way into the foundation and causing significant damage. However, foundation cracks often point to an underlying problem that sealing will not address. Consider reaching out to a foundation repair company to determine whether the cracks need further repair.
Clogged gutters and ineffective downspouts can lead to foundation damage. With improper drainage, water can pool around your home and seep into your basement and foundation, which can cause a lot of damage down the road. Be sure to inspect the gutters before winter arrives.
3. Prepare the Basement
To prepare the basement for winter, take care of any cracks or leaks in the walls or floors. Even small cracks can lead to water penetration, which often results in expensive repairs. Replace temporary basement windows, as these often cause heat loss and high heating costs. Also, make sure that the basement has sufficient insulation to help manage temperature.
4. Protect Plumbing Pipes
Frozen pipes are a common problem during winter, and they can lead to costly damage. To prevent frozen and burst pipes, add insulation to exposed pipes and install pipe sleeves. Turn off exterior faucets and irrigation systems and drain the pipes before temperatures drop below freezing. Ask your tenants to keep the heat on and faucets dripping during periods of extreme cold.
5. Winterize Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor features such as decks, patios, and gardens need protection from the harsh winter climate. Make sure that outdoor furniture is properly stored away and secure. Protect concrete surfaces by sealing them, and cover plants and flowers to protect them from frost. Clear snow and ice from walkways and use salt or sand to prevent slips and falls.
6. Service & Test the Heating Systems & Appliances
Heating systems are essential during winter, and malfunctioning systems can cause significant problems for tenants. Schedule an inspection for all heating systems and appliances before winter sets in. Hire a qualified professional to service and test the heating systems, including boilers, furnaces, and water heaters. Check for carbon monoxide leakage and replace air filters. Inspect and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and install additional alarms, if necessary.
7. Communicate with Your Tenants
Lastly, encourage regular communication with your tenants. Inform them of the winterizing process you've undertaken and educate them on how to take care of the property during the winter season. Provide them with emergency contact information and ask them to report any significant defects to you as soon as possible.
Call United Structural Systems Today!
Winterizing your rental property is essential for the comfort and safety of your tenants. By following these tips and tricks, you can help safeguard your rental property and allow for a more comfortable winter for your renters.
United Structural Systems is a trusted foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and crawl space encapsulation company with nearly 30 years of experience in protecting homes. We are prepared to assist you with professional winterizing services to help assure your property is prepared for winter. If you have questions about cracks in your foundation, leaks in your basement, or encapsulating a crawl space before winter, we’re here to help!