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The hot summer days are behind us for the year, and we are now settling into the cool fall atmosphere. That means it is time to shift gears and start getting your investments ready for the impending fall and winter weather.
Most of these maintenance tasks are not complicated maintenance tasks and they may even be part of your year-round maintenance strategy, but it is important that you take the time to double-check that all of these areas of the home are property maintained so that your tenants can enjoy a comfortable season while awaiting the warm spring and summer air to return.
Did you know that many investors find themselves falling behind on maintenance tasks because they didn’t plan for them in their budgets? To help you ensure that you have the funds for all of your year-round maintenance tasks, click the link below to book a free strategy call to discuss adjusting your mortgage to open up your budget.
5 Fall Maintenance Tasks
Here are 5 important maintenance tasks that you need to think about in the fall:
Check For Air Leaks and Insulation
One of the first maintenance tasks you should tackle as part of your fall maintenance strategy is to inspect all of your properties for potential air leaks and proper insulation. Otherwise, your tenants will waste money all season trying to keep the property warm only for the cool outdoor air to come inside and put additional pressure on the heater.
Start by checking for air leaks. You can do this by taking a feather or a sheet of paper and running it along closed doors and windows and looking to see if they move. Airflow in or out of the unit should make the object you are using begin to flutter away from the opening or pull towards it. This is a sign that you need to reseal the opening in order to make sure that everything is fully weatherproofed.
After that, it is time to check that the home is properly insulated. Start by running the heater and allowing the property to reach a comfortable temperature. Then, turn off the air and wait to see how long it takes for the property to cool off. If the property maintains its temperature for an extended period without additional heat coming in, you know the insulation is doing its job.
Alternatively, you can check inside of the walls to make sure everything is properly insulated, but that requires you to patch holes later which is not ideal.
Inspect Your Heating System
Another early maintenance task that you need to perform is a quick check on the furnace and heating system. Turn on the heat and allow the house to warm up to the ideal temperature. While this is happening, take note of how long it takes to do so.
Then, once the house has been heated, begin to walk around each room looking for cold spots where the heating may have missed. Sometimes, these spots are simply located further away from the vents, but in other circumstances they occur as a result of a vent not providing proper airflow.
If the furnace is taking too long to heat the unit, overheating, or failing to properly warm the entire space, you will likely need to bring in a professional to inspect and repair the unit.
Clean Your Gutters and Inspect Your Roof
After you have performed the interior maintenance tasks, it is time to step outside and prepare for falling leaves and snow that are going to come with the change in seasons. Normally, you should already have a plan to have your gutters cleared multiple times each year, but it is important to ensure that you double down and clean them before and after the fall months to make sure that they are not getting clogged up with fallen leaves and seeds.
While you are up there, take some time to inspect your roof. Are the shingles all secure and in good condition? Are there any signs of structural problems such as holes or dips in the roof that could cause problems once snow begins to fall? If there are any signs of roof damage or structural problems, do not hesitate to call a roofer before the situation worsens.
While you are doing this, take the time to inquire with your tenants about any potential leaks that occur when it rains. Normally, they should be telling you this, but it does not hurt to ask and may save you money on potential water damage that could begin to spread.
Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
Another important maintenance taskk to perform before cold weather hits is to ensure that your pipes are protected from freezing. Now, if your property is properly heated and insulated then the majority of your indoor pipes should be safe. However, for outdoor pipes such as the hookup for your garden hose, or any pipes running through a crawl space, you will need to take some additional steps to protect them.
With pipes located in crawl spaces you can try to insulate them with foam or some other means in order to keep them warm as well as temporarily blocking the crawl space off from the elements so that cold air cannot enter as easily.
As for pipes connects to hoses, you should start by disconnecting the hose in order to ensure no water is lingering in the pipe. Then, allow the pipe to slowly drip while the water is shut off to the pipe for a brief period so that all of the water in the pipe can run out. If possible, do not run this hose again until the weather warms up. You may even be able to unscrew the tap and or keep the valve shut for the season so that water cannot enter the pipe and freeze.
Discuss Yard and Sidewalk Maintenance with Your Tenants
Finally, make sure you take the time to discuss fall and winter lawn maintenance with your tenants. This includes cleaning up leaves from the yard and walkways as well as shoveling snow and eliminating ice so that no one falls and gets hurt on the property. If you tenant cannot do it themselves, make sure you hire someone to do the maintenance tasks regularly in order to ensure that they are done properly.
For more information about the world of real estate, or if you are looking to expand your portfolio this season, give us a call at LendCity. Our number is 519-960-0370 or you can find us online at LendCity.ca Alternatively, click the link below to book a free strategy call today.