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Are Your Atlanta Rental Properties Ready for Winter?

Draining water from a faucet to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.**This article was originally published on November 5, 2018, and updated on November 19, 2020.

Winterize Valves, Pipes, and Irrigation Systems

To prevent plumbing problems and potential water damage to your home, take the proper precautions to weatherize your home and winterize your pipes.  This is particularly important for vacant properties that aren’t being heated and where no one will notice if a pipe bursts. Sprinkler heads often continue to hold water, even when inactive; however, blowing out the system before shutting it off will protect it from damage caused by frozen and burst lines. Exterior faucets must be properly drained, covered, and shut off before the first freeze arrives, or they might crack or burst.

Disconnect garden hoses from all outdoor water faucets, allowing water to drain from a frost-free faucet. If your faucet is not frost-free, find and turn off the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space where the pipe feeds the faucet going to the outside of the home or building. Open the outside faucet to make sure it drains after the valve feeding this outdoor line has been cut off. After disconnecting and draining hoses, store them in a place with consistently warmer temperatures.

If your Atlanta rental home has pipes that run through cold basements, crawlspaces, attics, or garages, it’s important to keep them from freezing as well. One easy way to do that is to wrap them with foam covers or insulate them with heat tape. By taking the time to prevent frozen pipes, you might save yourself an expensive repair bill at an inconvenient time. Require that the residents keep the home at a temperature of at least 58 degrees during freezing nights. You should also keep any vacant properties at this temperature.

Protect Cooling Systems and Water Heaters

Preparing for winter also means shutting down and covering the rental home’s AC or swamp cooling unit. Drain the pipes or hoses on these units and then cover them. Doing this keeps the unit from leaking freezing air back into the house. It also protects the unit itself from damage caused by harsh winter weather. This is an important task that you should finish before the temperatures dip too low.

Protect your water heaters by adding or supplementing insulation. If they are located in the garage, keeping the doors closed whenever possible keeps the heat around them.

Other Winter Maintenance

While you’re winterizing your Atlanta property, check and replace the batteries in all the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Changing the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months is important to your residents’ safety.

Some other maintenance items include cleaning gutters so winter rains and snow can properly drain and keeping icy walkways and steps safe by providing ice melt and keeping it handy. Remind renters of their obligation to keep walkways and sidewalks clear of snow and ice as well. When the temperatures dip below freezing, you know you’re going to need it, so you should start preparing now.

While these tasks are all important ways of winterizing your Atlanta rental property, there’s no need to do it all yourself. The professionals at Real Property Management Vesta are your rental property winterization experts. We can take care of these and other important seasonal maintenance tasks for you while you are free to enjoy the best of the season. Contact us today or call us at 478-257-7055.

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