Maintenance doesn’t stop just because your rental property is vacant. This is especially true in Winter when snow and ice start to build and create a whole list of potential disasters for your empty investment home. So how do you protect your vacant home from the Winter elements and avoid a holiday catastrophe? Winterizing your vacant property is just as important as doing so when it’s occupied. Be sure to follow these few tips to make sure you’ve properly winterized your vacant property.
Turn Up the Heat!
Just because your rental is vacant doesn’t mean you can cut costs when it comes to heating. Failing to turn the heat up to an appropriate temperature in Winter can actually lead to frozen pipes and other potential damages. Experts recommend keeping your heat no lower than 68 degrees. This is especially important here in Colorado where the weather can turn on a dime.
Keep Your HVAC Systems Maintained
The last thing you want to go out during the Winter is your heating. Whether your home is vacant or occupied, keeping up with routine maintenance and inspections on your HVAC systems is a great way to stay ahead of potential problems. Be sure to have your furnace tuned up and your water heater inspected for signs of corrosion or malfunctions.
Don’t Forget Your Pipes!
Frozen pipes can create a world of problems. The expanding water can lead to cracks in the pipes which then leak or even burst when thawed, leading to serious water damage and other big issues if left unaddressed. The best way to avoid these serious issues is to be preventative. Make sure to have your sprinklers winterized and exterior house bibs covered. Disconnect all hoses and turn off the water to the exterior of the property is possible. Keep the heat up to an appropriate temperature to protect your rental’s plumbing. And if you suspect your pipes are already frozen, be sure to address them immediately before the leak gets out of hand.
Stay On Top of Snow Removal
Ensuring driveways and walkways are free of snow and ice are important, especially if your rental is vacant and up on advertising for new tenants. Not only does it create a potential liability if someone slips, but an un-shoveled walk can also turn tenants away when looking to rent your property. If you’re not able to stay on top of clearing the snow and ice, hire someone who can or consider working with a property manager to stay on top of winter maintenance.
Have Your Chimney Cleaned
There’s nothing better than cozying up next to a fire on a cold day. Make sure your rental’s chimney is clean and clear before it’s used. Failure to do so can lead to damaging house fires and smoke damage.
Test All Alarms
Finally, make sure all smoke and CO detectors are up to snuff this Winter. Change the batteries and swap out faulty detectors to ensure functionality throughout the property.
Winterizing your vacant property doesn’t have to be hard. If anything, it’s a great time to ensure everything is working properly before tenants move in. Be sure to stay ahead of the game and check preventative maintenance off your list this holiday season!