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  • Writer's pictureSpring Valley, The Investor's Bank

15 Essential Tips to Winterize Your Investment Properties

Save on Maintenance Costs & Keep Your Residents Safe With These Easy Winterizing Tips

15 tips for winterizing your proeprty

When the Weather Outside is Frightful

A winter wonderland is a beautiful sight to behold, but don't let the magnificence fool you into forgetting about the dangers of cold weather to your real estate investment. Save on maintenance costs and protect your investment & residents by following these 15 tips for winterizing properties:

  1. Inspect and repair the roof. Check the roof for gaps or water damage, especially around vents and other openings. Caulk or seal openings, and clear drains of leaves and other debris. Don’t forget to check chimneys.

  2. Clear gutters and downspouts. Blocked gutters can lead to water accumulation and ice dams, which can tear off gutters and result in interior leaks.

  3. Fix sidewalk cracks- Mark your calendars for early Fall 2024- Cement needs 2 consecutive days with lows above 50 degrees to set so take advantage of the fall weather next year to repair sidewalks. Damaged sidewalks create trip hazards. In addition, constant expansion and contraction, caused by water melting and freezing, can make existing damage considerably worse by the time spring arrives.

  4. Store outdoor items. Move outdoor items such as lawnmowers and outdoor furniture into storage for the winter.

  5. Seal doors and windows. You want to keep that warmth inside. Keep utility bills in check by installing (or repairing) weatherstripping in doors and windows. Repair gaps around windows and cracks in walls with caulk or more permanent repairs, as needed.

  6. Winterize pipes. Drain and insulate any exterior pipes to prevent the lines from freezing during the cold months.

  7. Protect against leaks. Add leak detectors and auto shutoff devices to prevent catastrophic leaks, especially when you’re not on the premises.

  8. Check nearby trees. Inspect trees and have unsafe branches removed. Winter storms can snap limbs and topple entire trees.

  9. Arrange for snow removal. Make sure you have a plan for removing snow and ice from sidewalks in a timely manner. The box stores run out of salt quickly and you don't want to be caught in a situation where you have to pay a premium for being unprepared.

  10. Replace air filters. The start of the winter season is an excellent time to change HVAC air filters. Clogged filters not only increase energy usage, but they also shorten the life of your equipment.

  11. Winterize AC units. To preserve its life, cover and seal the outdoor unit to prevent damage from snow and ice. Remove window units and store them until Spring.

  12. Assess entry mats. Position high-quality mats inside and outside the building to reduce slip and fall hazards and to retain the salt and water that can damage floors.

  13. Test smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors.  Winter is the prime season for home fires, a leading cause of building insurance claims. Make sure these early-warning systems are fully functional.

  14. Bleed radiators and service heating systems. Make sure heating systems are working properly before they’re needed.

  15. Educate residents. Share holiday safety tips with your residents. Also, provide guidelines for space heater usage, which need at least three feet of space around them.

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night

Checking off these 15 items will help you and your residents better enjoy the holiday season.

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