If you haven’t noticed, we have had some winter like weather enter DFW these past few days. So it may have you as a property owner wondering if it is time to start prepping your place for winter. Not sure where to start? Start with these tips below!
1. Prep Your Yard
Snow and ice have a tendency to weigh down trees and large shrubs causing them to break quite easily. Luckily we don’t have much snow here in Texas but the ice can be brutal. If you have invested time and money into your investment property’s landscaping, it may not be a bad idea to take extra steps in covering those plants and shrubs.
2. Seal the Cracks
Snow and ice can easily pool in your property’s walkways or driveways as it thaws from the afternoon sun. Then, when temperatures drop again in the middle of the night, that water will freeze and expand, causing even more damage to the already-existing cracks. It’s a good idea to fix these cracks before they become a bigger issue. Plus, excess frozen water will make your tenants more susceptible to slip and fall, which is a safety hazard that you could potentially be liable for.
3. Winterize the Sprinkler System
It is important that you winterize your property’s sprinkler system to prevent water build-up in the pipes that leads to freezing and possible bursting. This may require the help of a professional.
4. Wrap the Outside Pipes
On top of winterizing your sprinkler system, it is recommended that you or your tenants wrap any non-insulated pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold. Frozen pipes easily burst and can create a major water damage crisis.
5. Care for the A/C and Heating Systems
Ice or snow can potentially cover an outdoor A/C system which could be dangerous to your pocketbook. Safeguard your A/C unit by clearing away any debris and properly covering it. This way, when the warmer months come, you can start the unit easily.
Also, prepping your property’s heating system before the middle of winter is a good idea since maintenance calls regarding heating systems not working properly increase significantly during the winter. Getting a professional to service them before that happens, may be beneficial.
6. Clear out the Ducts
It is suggested that all property owners have their investment property’s ductwork cleared out every few years. Since debris can build up over time and strain both the heating and A/C systems, you may consider professionally cleaning the duct system to extend the longevity of the HVAC system.
7. Inspect the Chimney
If your property has a chimney, it is likely that it hasn’t been used since last winter. Have a professional inspect and clean your property’s chimney before your tenants use it for the first time. This will prevent potential fire hazards.
8. Conduct a Window and Door Inspection
In order for your rental property to stay warm for your tenants, you must check to see that heat is staying in the home and not seeping through any loose caulking, torn weather stripping, or gaps in both windows and doors.
As you can see there is a lot that goes into preparing your investment property for winter. With a little time and guidance you can minimize stressful and costly damages caused by the cold. And as always All County Property Management is here to help!