Frigid temperatures are bad for any rental property; but, it’s especially bad for the properties that are vacant during these cold seasons. If you know that your rental property is going to be sitting empty for the foreseeable future, a good way of preserving it is by winterizing it properly. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t ready, you could end up with burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. If you want to know how to properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can handle winter’s deep freeze, keep reading.
Leave the Heat On
First and foremost, remember to leave the heat on to properly winterize your rental property. It can be tempting to want to turn it off so as to save money on utilities. However, you run the risk of flooding your home when the pipes burst because the heating in your rental was off. You don’t need to leave the heat on full blast, but it should be consistently warm enough on the inside of the house to help keep your pipes from icing over.
Drain and Insulate Your Pipes
To avoid having to deal with the big mess that frozen pipes create, make sure to drain and insulate them before you leave the house vacant during cold temperatures. Start by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. To prevent any leaks underground caused by sprinkler systems, always drain them prior to vacancy and the cold weather. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – especially those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.
Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof
Another key detail to preparing your vacant rental property for the cold is to check your gutters and your roof. Plumbing may cause a lot of cold-weather issues, but so do the gutters and roof of your rental property. Clogged gutters or missing shingles can cause water to seep into the attic and walls and gather around the house’s foundation. Should that water freeze, it will expand and ruin the structure. So, in order to avoid that, make sure you clean your gutters and drain them properly, and weather-tight your roof.
Trim Trees & Shrubs
In closing, one last task you should do to winterize your vacant rental property is to trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or overhanging the house. Also, don’t forget to move any woodpiles or other objects touching the house. Make sure there are no branches that are too close to your house, too. These can cause clogging of your gutters with leaves, or they could possibly break and fall on your house during a storm. Pests and insects are attracted to woodpiles. But, they can easily move indoors when the cold comes. The last thing you need during these freezing temperatures is having to deal with a broken window, a damaged roof, or a pest infestation. And, when you find yourself filing a claim with your insurance company, they could use these issues to deny it.
Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming but necessary task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management United, we help rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Hollywood property managers by calling 973-747-5629.
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