One of the most demanding tasks of a landlord is to consistently maintain their rental property, especially in the fall when winter months are approaching.
In many parts of the country, when temperatures cool and the leaves start to fall, deep freezes and piles of snow aren’t far behind. While that may (or may not) be true in Texas, it’s still incredibly important to do the maintenance.
There are several fall maintenance tasks that are just too important to ignore. Roofs, siding, walkways, tree branches are just a few. Here are 8 reminders of what’s needed for your fall maintenance.
1. Check and clean the roof and gutters
Gutter cleaning is certainly no fun, but it needs doing every year. Any leaves and twigs that are on the roof should be brushed away, too. Clogged gutters that pile up with leaves are the main reasons ice does its damage. The extra weight for the roof to support is bad enough, but the melting ice pools of standing water that can then cause leaks in the walls and ceiling.
Install gutter guards that keep out leaves and debris, be aware that pine needles and small leaves can still block water flow. Micromesh gutter guards are a great alternative and keep out pine needles and shingle grit. Hinged guards are good, too since you can open, clean, close.
2. Trim tree branches overhanging on the roof
Even if you’re not too worried about an ice storm, overhanging branches are still sources of roof debris that can cause damage. Clearing them from the roof is an important part of fall maintenance. If branches interfere with power lines, it’s best to have a pro help you. Don’t forget to prune back ivy and other creeping vines.
3. Rake those leaves
Raing leaves is a fall maintenance job that every property owner should do, whether you hire it out or do it yourself. Fall maintenance tasks remind us of how valuable property management companies are. Cousin James Management property maintenance pros know how to get it done right.
4. Check insulation and weatherstripping
Foam weatherstripping lasts from five to 10 years if it is high quality and should be replaced when it cracks or shrinks. The best time to do this is in the fall, after the harsh days of summer’s hear, weatherstripping can be worn and cracked. Prepare for the colder days and keep your heating and cooling bills at bay, too.
5. Replace HVAC filters
Cleaning and replacing HVAC filters is a routine task that you should do every years to ensure better maintenance. Fall for heating and Spring for cooling are the best times for both. Keeping them clean will also create healthier air inside the house as well as healthier bills.
6. Patch holes
It doesn’t take a large hole for critters to squeeze through. Some get in through holes as small as 1/4 inch in diameter. Patch smaller holes with caulk or foam spray, and use wire mesh, sheet metal, or plywood to cover the larger ones. Always check the attic vents for holes or frayed edges.
7. Check and clean the chimney
If your property has a wood stove or a fireplace, chimney maintenance is a must. Not many landlords or property managers are equipped with chimney cleaning equipment, so this is another job for a property management pro.
8. Complete a thorough safety inspection
If you have an outdoor staircase or deck, check for loose decking boards or rotted wood. Pay attention to the railings, too. You want to make sure they can support someone if they lose their footing. Applying a non-slip coating to the treads of the stair steps may prevent a slip from occurring in the first place.
Preparing your rental property for winter protects your investment and reduces accidents or emergency calls in the middle of the night. Your property will look its best and everyone will sleep better knowing that problems are less likely.
And remember, when you simply don’t want to mess with rental property maintenance or you really don’t have the time, contact Cousin James Property Management. We will take the stress and toil out of being a rental property owner and replace it with peace of mind and more free time.