Whether you live in sunny SoCal or are expecting several feet of snow this holiday season, there are undeniable changes to prep for before winter officially arrives. Even in places where it rarely drops below freezing, it pays to plan ahead and prevent property damage. Cal Bay Property Management's Scott Safadi recommends taking these tips into consideration if your area experiences even one deep freeze a year:
Protect Your Pipes
Experts say that the average burst pipe insurance claim tops $18,000. Replacing pipes is only half the battle: the damage done to floors, sheet rock and personal possessions can be devastating. That's why it's recommended that if temperatures are dropping below freezing, you need to take steps and communicate with tenants about best practices. On especially cold nights, ask tenants to leave their cabinet doors ajar to allow heat to reach the pipes. Leaving faucets to drip slightly overnight is also a good choice.
Inspect the Roof
Whether you're anticipating heavy snow or just high winds, your roof will likely need a little extra attention this winter. Check for loose tiles and tiles, as well as the seal around vents and skylights. While you're on the roof, take a look at your gutters and ensure they are clear of any leaves that may have fallen this autumn. Anything that could prevent draining rain or melting snow is a problem.
If you live in a place where heavy snow is likely, consider shoveling off your roof after the next big storm. The weight of snow on a roof is more damaging than you might expect. Even light snow melting and refreezing can cause water damage to your home.
While we might traditionally think of prepping for winter by finishing up outdoor chores, it's just as important to maintain your rental's interiors. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to see that they are in good working order, and replace batteries as necessary. Have a chimney sweep come out to clean fireplaces, too. While they're on site, ask them to check for obstructions and venting to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
While these chores might seem like a pain, they can go a long way to prevent serious damage and injuries. Do your due diligence as a landlord and look out for your tenants and your investment property. Come spring, you'll be grateful you did!
- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management
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