As the temperatures start cooling down, you may think it means that you can begin relaxing. However, it actually means that you need to start preparing your rental properties for winter. By being proactive, you are protecting your investments and avoiding unnecessary and costly repairs. With that being said, here are three property maintenance tasks that you will need to conduct this fall:
1. Clean Out the Gutters.
As the season changes, trees will begin to shed their leaves and various debris will fall. It is important that you check your gutters and remove leaves, twigs, and other debris that may be clogging the system and blocking the proper flow of water. When your gutters don't allow water flow freely, it is literally a recipe for disaster – roof leaks, foundation damage, flooding, etc. So, once you have cleared all debris from the gutter system, test it by using a water hose to run water through it to ensure there are zero blockages.
2. Fire Up the Heating System.
It has been a little while since you have used your furnace or heating unit, so you need to test it out to ensure that it is working properly. You don't want to wait until the weather turns cold to turn it on only to find out that it isn't working. If it is a gas furnace, you will want to ensure the pilot light comes on, as these can often go out during the summer. Don't forget to change filters, clean the fans and airways, and remove anything that is blocking any vents. In addition, call an HVAC professional to perform a tune-up on the unit to ensure your heating system is in tip-top condition before Old Man Winter strikes.
3. Inspect Your Landscape.
Believe it or not, your landscape has more to do with preparing for winter than you realize. Take a close look at the trees in your yard. Do any of them have any large or dead tree limbs and branches that could pose a threat to your home, vehicles or the rest of your property during a winter storm? Trees and bushes need to be trimmed back from your home in order to minimize the risk of damage. It is also a good time to give your grass on last fertilization and remove any roots or plants that could impact your walkways, outdoor patios, and exterior siding. Don't forget to also switch off your sprinkler systems and drain water from the sprinkler system to avoid any frozen irrigation lines, broken sprinkler heads and/or busted pipes.