The holidays are coming, and that means cozy nights in front of the fireplace, spending time with family, and a couple of snow days. If you’re a property manager, the winter season can be an incredibly busy and stressful time of year, so you want to be prepared to take on the most difficult of tasks. You need to make sure all of your properties are running smoothly and safely. Here are five ways you can make sure you’re prepared for the cold!
1) Inspect the AC and Heating Units
Make sure all of your tenants check their air conditioning and heating units. Although air conditioning isn’t needed during the winter seasons, you want to make sure that it’s functioning properly, so it doesn’t get more damaged during an extended period of nonuse.
You want all of the heaters to be running effectively before the winter season hits. Most people notice that their heaters are broken when they need, so they have to suffer through the cold while it’s being repaired. You don’t want your tenants to freeze!
2) Maintain the Roof and the Gutters
A number of accidents can damage your roof and gutters. Heavy winds, falling branches, and critters can loosen gutters and parts of the roof, but we don’t tend to notice these little accidents during the dry season. Have a professional inspect the roof and gutters on all of the properties that you manage. This will prevent future more major damages like leaks, structural damage, and mold growth.
Gutters should be cleaned out twice a year. Once before the rainy season, to prevent leaks, and once before the dry season, to prevent home fires.
3) Update the Sprinkler Timer
It’s always beneficial to make sure the sprinklers are running properly and aren’t drowning plants or making unnecessary puddles. Changing the sprinklers to run on a winter schedule will help you save water, keeping costs low and the planet happy.
4) Check on the Chimneys
Heaters, fireplaces, and furnaces are going to be used much more in the winter season than they were during the summer. You want to make sure that all of the housing units that you manage are safe and clean, and that includes the chimney. If chimneys aren’t functioning properly, smoke and other toxic fumes can leak into the house, endangering tenants.
5) Be Ready for Snow and Frost
Snow and ice can be incredibly dangerous during the winter season. Freezing temperatures cause moisture to turn into ice in unexpected places. Winterizing pipes is important because it prevents water from freezing and expanding pipes which could lead to cracks, leaks, and other damages to pipes. Winterizing your property’s pipes might be an extensive process, so it might be in your best interest to find a professional to do it for you.
Water can also freeze in cracks in the foundation of a house or on the sidewalk. These cracks will expand as the ice pushes them outward. Before the freeze hits, it’s important to seal any noticeable cracks to prevent further damages.
Managing a housing property can be difficult in the winter, but with a little proactivity, your units will be cozy all winter!