3 Easy Ways To Get Your Property Ready For Winter

Fall weather is finally here, making it the perfect time to get your property ready for the harsh winter months. While most Californians don’t have to worry about shoveling snow from walkways or removing icicles from roofs, there are still a number of property maintenance tasks one can’t ignore, especially if you’re a property manager with tenants who depend on you.

If you don’t take advantage of the fall weather to prepare your property for the cold winter, you could end up having to make costly repairs further down the road. Save on time and money by taking care of all potential issues on your property during the fall season. Here are 3 ways all landlords can get their property ready for the longest, coldest months of the year.

1.) Draft-Proof Doors and Windows

One of the most noticeable characteristics of winter is the rapid decrease in temperature. While we can all appreciate the natural beauty of winter, no one wants to wake up feeling like they are in the middle of Antarctica. Help keep the interior of your property warm and cozy by making sure all windows and doors are draft-proof.

Before you can fix any drafts, you need to find out how the cold air is getting in. First, double-check  to make sure all doors and windows are properly sized. Cold air can easily seep inside a property’s interior if a door is not properly fitted to it’s frame. Sometimes adding something as simple as some self-adhesive foam weather stripping to gaps between frames of windows or doors is all it takes to keep the cold air out.

However, if the property’s doors and windows are too weather worn to effectively keep the cold air out, it could be time to consider updating them. New, sturdy doors and windows will be better at preventing heat from escaping. In addition, they will also increase the property's overall attractiveness and value.

2.) Clean Out the Gutters

As each autumn leaf falls, cleaning out the rain gutters on your property should rise to the top of your to-do list. Putting off this chore for another season could lead to problems in the future. These costly problems include falling gutters, cracked foundation, and even flooding. Thankfully, these problems are easily avoidable if you take the time to clear all of the leaves and debris from each gutter.

Most experts recommend cleaning your rain gutters once a year. However, if your property rests beneath a loft of trees your rain gutters may need more attention. If rain gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves, dirt, and other debris they run the risk of causing falling gutters, wood rot, staining, and more. Save yourself the headache of fixing these preventable problems by efficiently cleaning your gutters this fall.

Home improvement specialist, Ben Stillwell, recommends taking action early and cleaning your gutters before the rainy season begins. Gutters are easiest to clean when they are dry.  Make sure you check the weather forecast before you get started on this important maintenance task.

3.) Evaluate the Roof

While you’re up on the roof cleaning your gutters, you might as well evaluate the state of your roof. The last thing your tenants want to deal with this holiday season is a leaking roof. Stop moisture damage and minimize expensive repairs by taking the time to have your roof properly inspected this fall.

Whether you hire a professional or are doing the inspection yourself, make sure someone is keeping an eye out for:

  • Rust spots
  • Curling, buckling, broken, or missing shingles
  • Cracked rubber around vent pipes,
  • Masses of moss or lichen (this could indicate that the roof is decaying underneath the shingles)

While inside the property, keep an eye out for these signs of a leaky roof:

  • Dark spots on ceilings
  • Damp areas near fireplaces
  • Water stains on pipes connected to the water heater
  • Peeling paint underneath roof overhangs

If you notice any of these warning signs of a damaged roof, it’s time to make some repairs before winter arrives. While the cost of getting your roof repaired may seem intimidating at first, realize that you are saving money in the long run from not having to do costly emergency repairs in the winter.

Keep in mind that if your roof is 15 years old or more, it is more than due for a replacement. Replacing your roof in the fall will ensure that your tenants and your property remains warm, dry, and secure throughout the long winter months.

Keep In Mind

In short, whether you live in a mild climate like California or a more turbulent area, it is vital that you take advantage of the fall season to get your property ready for winter. Doing things as simple as draft-proofing your property’s windows and doors, cleaning rain gutters, and ensuring all roofs are up to code are easy ways to keep your property weather-damage free this winter season.