Frigid temperatures can be a hazard for any rental property, and certainly, this is all the more true for vacant properties during the coldest parts of the year. If you have a rental property that will be sitting idle and vacant, even for just a few days, it’s imperative to winterize it properly. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t really prepared, you could easily end up with burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. In the next paragraphs, we’ll speak about how (and why) to properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can withstand winter’s deep freeze.
Leave the Heat On
One of the initial actions you should carry about to winterize your rental property is leaving the heat on. It can certainly be a relief to disable it and save a few dollars on utilities. Though, take note, the value of fixing a flooded home when your pipes burst will be a lot more than heating your rental for some months. You don’t necessarily have to leave the heat on full blast, although it should be always warm enough on the inside of the house to support and help keep your pipes from icing over.
Drain and Insulate Your Pipes
As frozen pipes very often create big messes, it’s essential to take careful attention to draining and insulating them properly in preparation for leaving a house vacant in cold temperatures. Start this off by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. You should additionally have your landscaper drain your sprinkler system if you have one, which can help prevent leaks underground. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – primarily those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.
Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof
Another crucial task that you should execute to winterize your vacant rental property is to clean and check your gutters and roof. Same as with plumbing, the gutters and the roof of your rental property are the possible culprits of cold-weather troubles. Clogged gutters or missing shingles can cause water to seep into the attic and walls and gather around the house’s foundation. If that water then freezes, it will expand and ruin the structure. Preferably, it’s appropriate to have your gutters clean and draining properly and your roof weather-tight.
Trim Trees & Shrubs
One last matter, the final thing you should bring about to winterize your vacant rental property is to trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or overhanging the house. You should similarly move any woodpiles or other objects touching the house. Branches too close to the house can give rise to concerns, from clogging up your gutters with leaves to breaking and falling on the house during a storm. Woodpiles invite pests and insects, which may relocate indoors when things get really cold. In freezing temperatures, the last thing you need to deal with is a broken window, a damaged roof, or a pest infestation. Furthermore, these items can possibly be used by your insurance company to deny any claims you may file.
Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming nevertheless essential task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management Vesta, we help out rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Warner Robins property managers by calling 478-257-7055.
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