Any rental property that’s exposed to frigid temperatures will face hazards of sorts; more so the properties that are vacant during the cold season. If yours is a rental property that has been or will be sitting empty, you should look to winterize it properly, as soon as possible. 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. So how does one winterize a vacant rental property in order for it to withstand winter’s deep freeze? Here’s how to do exactly that.
Leave the Heat On
The first step to winterize your rental property is to leave the heat on. You might want to turn it off so that you can save some money from utilities. The problem, though, is that it will be far more costly when the pipes burst and flood the home because there was no heating. 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
It can be very difficult to deal with the problems that come with frozen pipes. To avoid that, make sure you drain and insulate the pipes before the house becomes vacant in cold temperatures. Start by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure you have it drained so that you can prevent leaks underground. 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
A key step in winterizing your vacant rental property is to check your gutters and roof. While plumbing may cause issues in your rental property from time to time, so do your gutters and roof — especially when it comes to cold-weather-related issues! Clogged gutters or missing shingles can cause water to seep into the attic and walls and gather around the house’s foundation. When it seeps in and freezes, it will expand and destroy the structure. This is why it’s always good to make sure your gutters are clean and drained properly, and your roof made weather-tight.
Trim Trees & Shrubs
To end, 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. Remember, any woodpile or objects touching the house should also be moved. Keep an eye out for branches that are too close to the house. These can cause clogging in your gutters with leaves, or might even break or fall on the house during a storm. Woodpiles are a haven for pests and insects. When it gets too cold, though, they might ditch the pile to move indoors. You don’t want to find yourself handling a broken window, a damaged roof, or even a pest infestation — especially not when the temperatures are freezing. To make it even worse, when your insurance company finds out about these issues, they could use them to deny any claims you file.
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 Varanasi, 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 Exton property managers by calling 215-770-2707.
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