The changing seasons and the cooling weather remind us that winter is coming. Before it arrives, there are some important maintenance tasks to perform to protect your rental properties from winter weather.

One way to prepare your rental properties for winter is to drain and shut off your sprinkler system. Blowing out the system will protect it from damage caused by frozen and burst lines. Exterior faucets should be properly drained, covered and shut off before the first freeze arrives, or they might crack or burst. Detach, drain, and store garden hoses to keep them ready for warmer weather. If any of your rental homes have pipes that run through cold basements, crawlspaces, attics, or garages, it’s important to keep them from freezing as well. One easy way to do that is to wrap them with foam covers or insulate them heat tape. By taking the time to prevent frozen pipes, you can potentially save yourself an expensive repair bill (and a flooded basement) at the worst possible time. You should also require residents to keep homes at a temperature of at least 58 degrees during freezing nights.

Preparing for winter also means shutting down and covering the A/C or swamp cooling units. Covering the unit keeps it from leaking freezing air back into the house. It also protects the unit itself from damage caused by harsh winter weather. This is an important task that you should finish before the temperatures dip too low. Now is also a good time to check and replace the batteries in all the property’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Changing the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every six months is an important way to promote the safety of your rental homes and your residents.

Finally, make sure you prepare for icy walkways and steps by providing ice melt and keeping it handy. Remind your renters of their obligation to keep walkways and sidewalks clear of snow and ice as well. When the temperatures dip below freezing, you know you’ll need it; be proactive and prepare now.

While these tasks are all important ways to winterize your rental properties, there’s no need to do it all yourself. The professionals at Real Property Management are your rental property winterization experts. We can take care of these and other important seasonal maintenance tasks for you while you are free to enjoy the best of the season. To learn more, contact your nearest Real Property Management office.

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