When it comes to rental property maintenance, the sooner the better – and with winter well on its way, now is a perfect time to look into winterizing your rental properties. While most landlords have a fall maintenance to-do list that includes winterizing, some lists are longer than others. Depending on where your property resides, winter might not be too bad. Average winter temperatures range from a high of 67.4 degrees (F) in Hawaii to a low of 2.6 degrees (F) in Alaska. As you compile your winterizing to-do list, keep in mind your state’s average winter temperatures and focus your efforts towards keeping your property safe from upcoming rain or snow.
Routine Fall Maintenance To-Do List:
Winterizing aside, with the end of the year coming close, naturally it’s time to perform your fall maintenance routine. While I’m sure you have your own routine set in stone, keep in mind the following tasks as you prep your rental property. Click here to view our Fall Maintenance Checklist!
- Check for peeling paint (and plan to repaint if needed)
- Change your sprinkler’s timing
- Repair broken fences
- Cover and store any provided AC window units
- Check your water heater, furnace, and/or heating system
- Make sure attics and basements are insulated
- Caulk around doors, windows, and pipes
- Change smoke and CO alarm’s batteries
- Replace furnace filter
Winterizing your Rental Properties for Temperatures Above 33 Degrees (F)
Look like it’s going to snow? According to the University of Illinois, as long as the temperature of the ground is greater than 32 degrees (F), then that snow won’t even touch the ground. The warmer temperature of the ground will melt the snow before it reaches your rental property, turning it into rain. To prep for winter rain, do the following:
- Prune your property’s trees and shrubs
- Coat your wooden deck (or any provided furniture) in a protective, water-repellent finish
- Clear out blocked rain gutters
- Clean your rental’s chimney
- Inspect your roof for holes or missing tiles
- Move outdoor items (like lawnmowers, tools, etc.) into storage
- Inspect for leaks
Quick Tip: Be aware that excessive rainfall can make the temperature drop and can solidify into ice. If your area’s winter temperatures are around 15 degrees above the freezing point, you might want to fully winterize your property just to be safe.
Winterizing your Rental Properties for Temperatures 32 Degrees (F) and Below
As you know, water freezes at 32 degrees (F). If your rental property is in states like Montana, Nebraska, and New York, you might want to prep your property for rain, snow and ice. In addition to doing the tasks in the section above, you’ll want to do the following to prevent your property’s pipes from freezing.
- Turn off your sprinkler system
- Winterize your outdoor amenities (like your pool or spa)
- Disconnect and drain garden hoses
- Insulate exposed pipes
Quick Tip: if the temperature drops below 20 degrees (F), advise your tenants to keep one or two faucets running. This will prevent freezing.
Don’t forget to review your city and state’s snow and ice removal laws, and remind your tenants about appropriate de-icing measures. If you have new tenants, consider providing them a bag of salt, synthetic deicing material, sand, or kitty litter and pointing out areas on the property that often get the most ice. This will boost your landlord-tenant relationship, and prevent any unwanted accidents (which could be covered with renters insurance).
As you winterize your properties against rain and snow, take the time to talk to your tenants. It’ll soon be the holiday season, and taking the time to make sure they’re prepped for winter will go miles. Plus, it’ll be a good time to give them some info on who to contact while you’re on your Christmas vacation.
Does your rental property have extreme winter conditions? What do you do to prevent your properties from sustaining winter damages?