A chill is in the air, leaves are changing, and Fall is here, but along with it comes Fall maintenance. Falling leaves can easily clog gutters and lead to water damage in and around the home. That said, seasons changing presents the perfect opportunity for preventative maintenance and a chance to check-in and ensure all major systems function properly. Taking the time to look after your rental property regularly can go a long way in preventing major breakdowns in the future. When it comes to Fall maintenance, both landlords and tenants each play a role in keeping the property operating at its best. Here are some some fall maintenance tips to help get your rental property ready for a drop in temperature:
Clearing off your roof is an important part of preparing for winter, since leaves and branches can cause build-up of ice and snow and put extra weight on your roof that it might not be able to withstand. It is also a good time to check your roof for any missing shingles, holes or damage that could be the source of future leaks and make repairs before the snow falls.
Ensuring your rental property’s roof is in good working order should be the first of our maintenance tips you do this fall. A strong roof means your tenants are protected from the elements, and you can avoid hazardous conditions that could potentially cost you in more ways than one.
Gutter Clean Out
Any leaves and debris that have accumulated in your gutters will need to be removed before winter comes. Prevent water build-up around the foundation and gutter detachment from ice damns by clearing out your gutter system. Clean out will also ensure that the gutters are prepared for water flow, when the snow starts melting.
Winterizing Outdoor Systems
If the property has an outdoor sprinkler, faucet or hose, it’s very important that you winterize the system to prevent it from freezing and bursting. By draining all exterior pipes of water and closing off the valves, frozen pipes can be prevented.
Trim the Trees and Bushes
With fall weather comes dry leaves and falling debris from trees and bushes on your property. To avoid big messes and fire hazards, try getting ahead of it by trimming the trees and bushes. Also, keeping trees short and landscaping neat reduces the risk of branches falling onto the roof or damaging other parts of the property if it happens to be windy.
Lastly, clean landscaping means fewer pests and insects living on your rental property. As the weather gets cooler, some of these pests may try to make their way inside to stay warm. Trimming overhanging branches and maintaining landscaping will help to keep these unwanted visitors in check.
Check the Property for Holes and Cracks
While you are inspecting your rental property this fall, be sure to check for cracks or holes in the walls and foundation. While these openings can create drafts in the home or unit, they will also provide easy access for rodents, insects, and other pests looking for shelter from the cold or rain. Some insects can fit through the tiniest cracks, so it is best not to ignore minor holes. Do your best to patch the holes or hire an experienced repair professional to fix them.
Fire Safety Check
All smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested, since tenants will be running the heat and/or using a fireplace during the coming colder months.
Chimney & Fireplace Inspection
At the start of heating season, fall is the perfect time to inspect fireplaces, chimneys, flues and vents. Have a professional come clean and inspect the chimney for signs of obstruction or hazard prior to the season’s first use.
Be Respectful of Your Tenants
Above all, remember to be respectful of your tenant’s privacy. This is the “golden rule” of our maintenance tips. If you have several things on your fall maintenance checklist and need access to the property while tenants are living in it, be sure to reach out in advance and schedule a time that is convenient for them. Try to get as much done at once — the less disruption, the better!