Frigid temperatures can be a hazard for any rental property, but, all the more, this relates in particular to vacant properties during the coldest parts of the year. If you have a rental property that will be sitting deserted, even for just a few days, it’s important to winterize it properly. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t well-prepared, you could turn out to have burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. In the sections that follow, we’ll go into how (and why) to properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can withstand winter’s deep freeze.
Leave the Heat On
One of the first measures you should bring about to winterize your rental property is to leave the heat on. It can definitely be irresistible to disconnect it and save a few dollars on utilities. Although bear in mind that the cost for repairing a flooded home when your pipes burst will be substantially more than heating your rental for several months. You don’t even really have to leave the heat on full blast, but indeed, it should be persistently warm enough on the inside of the house to really help keep your pipes from icing over.
Drain and Insulate Your Pipes
On account that frozen pipes also often make big messes, it’s necessary to take extra attention to draining and insulating them properly just prior to leaving a house vacant in cold temperatures. Start off by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. You should moreover have your landscaper drain your sprinkler system if you have one, which can help prevent leaks underground. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – particularly those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.
Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof
Another significant task that you should perform to winterize your vacant rental property is to clean and check your gutters and roof. Together with plumbing, the gutters and the roof of your rental property are the seeming culprits of cold-weather catastrophes. Clogged gutters or missing shingles can make water seep into the attic and walls and gather around the house’s foundation. If that water then freezes, it will expand and cause great damage to the structure. In contrast, it’s suitable to have your gutters clean and draining properly and your roof weather-tight.
Trim Trees & Shrubs
One final matter, the last thing you should complete to winterize your vacant rental property is to trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or overhanging the house. You should as well move any woodpiles or other objects touching the house. Branches too close to the house can lead to nuisances, from clogging up your gutters with leaves to breaking and falling on the house during a storm. Woodpiles invite pests and insects, which may go indoors when the weather gets cold. In freezing temperatures, the last thing you need to deal with is a broken window, a damaged roof, or a pest infestation. More than that, these items can probably be used by your insurance company to deny any claims you may file.
Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming but, on the other hand, important task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management Citywide, we certainly help rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Tucker property managers by calling 770-733-1848.
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