Winterizing your properties takes a small amount of time today to ensure less headaches in the future. This article gives a few practical tips to winterizing your properties to make sure life is easier for you…and your tenants.
If you were a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones, you would remember the constant ominous threat:
Winter is coming…
Now, for people who lived in this fictional world, the long, freezing weather made life a living hell. The same can be said for your investment properties if you don’t take some precautions.
I know discussions like this can cause stress and angst, but don’t worry; these steps aren’t as daunting as you may fear and will make life easier down the road.
First off, let’s define: Winterizing is just making sure temperature influenced elements on your property are adequately prepared to withstand the cold that winter brings. The hope is that you take these precautions BEFORE winter really hits, but it’s never too late to start. A burst frozen pipe or a mouse infestation can cause severe damage to your bottom line AND your reputation.
The information gleaned here comes from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IIBHS). If you haven’t bookmarked this site, do it now! They are a valuable source of information.
First of all, stay safe! Repair stairs and sidewalks to minimize tripping hazards. This is especially true for properties that are being rented to people with limited mobility or senior citizens.
How is your lighting? Are your walkways adequately illuminated for the long winter nights? And also, make sure your tenants know who is responsible for keeping the walkways and driveways clear. This would also be a great time to review these responsibilities to ensure the information is WRITTEN down in case of issues down the road.
Pipes and Water Heaters
If you’ve never experienced a burst water pipe, then I’d love to keep it that way! So, to ensure your avoiding this catastrophe, let’s make sure you know the precautions you can take:
• Shut off and cover outdoor water faucets
• Caulk cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes
• Allow indoor faucets to drip lukewarm water on extremely cold days
• Wrap exposed outdoor pipes in insulated sleeves
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow heat to radiate around pipes
• Drain water systems in unused areas
If your property is going to be vacant for the winter be sure to flush and drain toilets and pipes.
Remember, if I was going to give you a hot stock tip or a can’t miss bet on a football game, you’d be thrilled to take advantage of the advice. Maintaining your property for winter is JUST as financially beneficial as any other investment. A little effort today will keep away major financial problems tomorrow.