If you own a rental property in an area that experiences seasonal changes like Kansas City, outdoor home maintenance should be at the top of your to-do list this autumn. Along with heating system maintenance, preparing your rental property in advance for the cooler winter temperatures not only cuts down on unnecessary repair costs, but will also protect you and your tenants from dangerous situations that are easily preventable with outdoor home maintenance.
Outdoor home maintenance should be a quarterly undertaking, especially if you own a rental property, but obviously to combat icy winters, you will have different tasks than you would with outdoor home maintenance in the summer.
Here are the areas you should focus on during your outdoor home maintenance to get your rental property ready for winter!
Outdoor Home Maintenance for Winter
Faucets, hoses, and irrigation systems
The first step to outdoor home maintenance involves checking your rental property’s faucets, hoses, and sprinkler systems. Outdoor faucets should be shut off and hoses completely drained before the onset of winter. This will prevent residual water from freezing and bursting your hoses, which can lead to costly replacements or repairs. If your property is equipped with a sprinkler system, draining it is another step in outdoor home maintenance. For this, you should contact a professional lawn irrigation systems specialist.
Outdoor home maintenance also includes checking your exterior caulking. The main purpose of caulking is to keep a home insulated by preventing moisture and air from outside from seeping in. According to the US Department of Energy, 10% of energy loss in houses is due to old caulking, and climate experts agree that outdoor caulking is a source of costly heat leaks. Even if your caulking was properly completed in the past, it is advisable to frequently check caulk for cracking as a part of your outdoor home maintenance. The most appropriate time to re-caulk just before cold temperatures set in, preferably when the weather is over 45 degrees.
Another step in outdoor home maintenance is checking your gutters for obstructions and removing any debris. Fall gutter cleaning is not a job that everyone enjoys, but it can save your rental property from extensive damage in the winter, such as rotting siding, ripped gutters, and roof leaks. If you do not clean your gutters now as a part of outdoor home maintenance, you will need to contact a professional for winter gutter cleaning. To check fall gutter cleaning off your outdoor home maintenance list, scoop the debris out into a bucket or force them out using a hose.
Checking the chimney and fireplace is also a vital part of outdoor home maintenance. As we explained when discussing proper fireplace maintenance for your rental property, getting rid of build-up in the chimney will help you and your tenants avoid hazardous situations, like carbon monoxide poisoning and potential fires. Thoroughly inspect the flue for any blockages and buildup, then contact a professional if you need help removing any obstructions. This outdoor home maintenance activity should be carried out at least once in a year and fall is the best time to do it.
If your rental property has outdoor lighting, checking your units is part of outdoor home maintenance. Test that the wiring is safe and functioning correctly, especially since it will be exposed to the elements. Walkways should also be adequately lit to prevent your tenants from slipping on icy patches during the winter.
Outdoor Home Maintenance Help from National Property Management Group
Following these procedures well will ensure that your outdoor home maintenance is a success, keeping your rental property functioning during the winter months, ensuring your tenants’ safety, and helping you avoid liabilities. If you need a little help completing the outdoor home maintenance, National Property Management Group of Kansas City can put you in touch with professionals that will help.