If you are a landlord, hearing the news that a pipe has got burst in your rental property will upset you and ruin your holidays in a faraway destination. However, you can prevent such a mishap if you take preventive steps before the start of the winter season. Also, a little extra care and help by your tenants in the maintenance will go a long way in keeping your rental property protected during the winter season. It will also improve the safety of your tenants and they will be able to avoid accidents like slips and falls.
Prevent your pipes from becoming frozen
Garden hoses lying in the outdoors can easily become frozen during winter season. Disconnect such hoses and remove all water from them. To protect faucets, cover them with foam and make sure that the sprinkler system is turned off. Inside the property, keep the cabinets under the kitchen sink open so that warm air keeps circulating around the pipes. Insulate all pipes exposed to cold climate with foam./
Maintenance inside the property
Cover Windows A/Cs before the start of the winter season. Change the direction of blades of the fans. They will start circulating warm air instead of cold. Before using chimneys and fireplace, take a close look and do their cleaning so that they do not become clogged quickly. Bring all plants in pots inside as they become frozen in winter. Plants in the garden cannot be brought inside. So you need to insulate them with the help of an insulation material. However, make sure to remove this material as soon as the temperature goes above freezing point.
Brush off any snow you see on the leaves and branches of trees and plants after snowfall stops. You can use a broom to remove snow gently from the plants.
Tell your tenants to cooperate with you in dealing with snow in the winter season. Request them to remove the snow from the sidewalks outside the property. In many counties, the owner of the property is fined by the authorities if this snow is not cleared within a certain time frame. Check out laws for snow removal in your County and remind your tenants about their responsibility in this regard.
If too much snow has got deposited on the roads and structures, you can make of salt or any other de-icing material to get rid of snow quickly. In some places, sand and kitty litter is used to melt the ice quickly.
Additional measures to prevent damage because of cold weather:
- Wiper fluid of your car can freeze during winter season. Check the levels of anti-freeze liquid and add it if necessary, so that your vipers keep working.
- Make sure to check the gutters. Any debris that is left behind can cause water to back up and choke the gutters. Choked gutters can easily damage the roof of your building.
- Improve the insulation of your attic so that cold air circulating inside does not increase your electricity bill.
- Inspect the roof as soon as snowfall has stopped to check if the roof has been damaged.
- Inspect the heating system as well as furnace before the start of winter season as they must work for long hours to keep the property warm form inside
- Look at the levels of batteries in the smoke detectors and CO alarms. Replace the batteries if they are dead to make sure these alarms are in working condition.
- Keep your plan ready to prevent bursting of a pipe if it becomes frozen. You may require heating tubes that are placed alongside frozen pipe to thaw the ice inside them.