One of the more common problems that Fort Lauderdale rental property owners have to watch out for is water damage. Even when the quantity of water is small, it can still damage a building. It can get into ceiling joists, walls, floors, and even weaken the foundation. Just a few inches of water on the floor can result in necessary repairs that go as high as tens of thousands of dollars. As a property owner, it really isn’t possible to avoid every water-related emergency. However, there are some things you can do to help prevent water damage. This would, in turn, save you from the costly repairs that come with it. The following are some tips that can help you keep your Fort Lauderdale investment property safe from preventable floods and leaks.
Prepare for Severe Weather
Severe weather incidents may result in water damage. This is a common problem in locations where storms are just a part of life. Your property has a greater risk of water damage when there is strong wind and heavy rain. And if you’re located in a flood-prone area, flash flooding can sometimes happen.
To prevent water damage, you have to prepare your rental property for severe weather. For example, you need to inspect your roof annually and seal any cracks or gaps you discover. If you spot any missing shingles, replace them as needed. Then, check your flashing, gutters, and downspouts to make sure they are all installed correctly and in good working condition. If you’re expecting a period of heavy rain, improve the drainage around your property’s foundation so that the water flows away from the walls. If your property is in a flood zone, you’ll need to take additional precautions. Think about having sandbags ready, or some sandbagging supplies on hand. These will do a lot in protecting your property. Even during unexpected weather events, preparation is critical. A little preparation goes a long way in keeping your property safe and dry.
Clean the Gutters
Clogged or incorrectly installed gutters are another common cause of water damage. The gutter system is there to help the water flow away from the structure of your rental property. The problem is when leaves, twigs, and other debris fill the gutters. When this happens, the water will start to overflow out of the gutters and onto the side of the house instead. This brings about so many kinds of problems– leaking ceilings, wood rot, damaged drywall, and even ruined flooring. And, if it’s left clogged for a long time, leaking gutters could even erode a cement foundation and also ruin your landscaping.
To stop this from occurring, simply clean your rental property’s gutters at least two times a year. Inspect your gutter system for any leaks and pooling water and remove any debris you find. When you habitually clean and make small repairs on a gutter system, you’re not only preventing water damage but you’re also saving on long-term repair costs.
Inspect Your Plumbing (and Water Heater)
Water damage can also affect the inside of your rental property. If it happens, the culprit is usually plumbing issues. Leaking pipes, broken faucets, worn-out washing machine hoses, and old water heaters are the possible water damage sources. Even something people usually dismiss as small– like a slow or blocked drain– can actually cause serious water damage. And that damage could potentially require costly emergency repairs.
To make sure water damage won’t affect the inside of your rental home, have your entire plumbing system inspected annually. During the inspection, a professional plumber will be able to see developing problems that you can fix right away. By fixing any plumbing problems while they are small, you are preventing water disasters from happening. You are, at the same time, saving yourself a good deal of money on repairs. It’s also important to keep track of your water heater’s condition– including its age. Make sure that it is serviced regularly and that you have it replaced before it fails. A failing water heater can possibly flood a basement or garage and damage it. If this were to happen, you’d have to pay for clean-up and repairs on top of having to purchase a replacement water heater. By replacing it before it fails, your cash flow will be more manageable and you’d avoid unnecessary expenses.
Preventing water damage could be quite challenging. You’d need to spend a lot of time and effort. Instead of doing it all yourself, consider hiring one of our professional Fort Lauderdale property managers to handle your preventive maintenance and inspections. To learn more, contact us online.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.