Frigid temperatures can be a hazard for any rental property, though this is particularly true for vacant properties during the coldest parts of the year. If you have a rental property that will be sitting uninhabited, even for just a few days, it’s necessary to winterize it properly. If temperatures drop and the property isn’t being properly prepared, you could wind up with burst pipes, a leaking roof, or any number of cold-weather headaches. In the following paragraphs, we’ll speak on how (and why) to properly winterize a vacant rental property so that it can withstand winter’s deep freeze.
Leave the Heat On
One of the first steps you should conduct to winterize your rental property is to leave the heat on. It probably is appealing to turn that off and save a few dollars on utilities. However, the expense for putting in order a flooded home when your pipes burst will be a whole lot more than heating your rental for a few months. You don’t have to leave the heat on full blast, though it should be rather warm enough on the inside of the house to maintain and keep your pipes from icing over.
Drain and Insulate Your Pipes
Because frozen pipes all too frequently result in big messes, it’s vital to take particular care to drain and insulate them properly before ever leaving a house vacant in cold temperatures. Begin by draining and detaching any garden hoses on the outside, and wrap your exterior hose bibs with insulation. You should as well have your landscaper drain your sprinkler system if you have one, which can help prevent leaks underground. Inside the house, wrap any exposed pipes – mainly those in the basement or attic – with insulation or spray with foam.
Clean Gutters and Inspect the Roof
Another relevant task that you should accomplish to winterize your vacant rental property is to clean and check your gutters and roof. Apart from plumbing, the gutters and the roof of your rental property are the sure culprits of cold-weather disasters. Clogged gutters or missing shingles can result in water seeping into the attic and walls, and gathering around the house’s foundation. If that water then freezes, it will expand and destroy the structure. On the other hand, it’s ideal to have your gutters clean and draining properly and your roof weather-tight.
Trim Trees & Shrubs
Ultimately, one last undertaking you should carry about to winterize your vacant rental property is to trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or overhanging the house. You should equally move any woodpiles or other objects touching the house. Branches too close to the house can cause complications, from clogging up your gutters with leaves to breaking and falling on the house during a storm. Woodpiles invite pests and insects, which may go indoors when things get cold. In freezing temperatures, the last thing you need to deal with is a broken window, a damaged roof, or a pest infestation. Additionally, these items would be used by your insurance company to deny any claims you may file.
Winterizing a vacant rental property can be a time-consuming but indeed very vital task. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Real Property Management Prestige, we help rental property owners like you keep their rentals ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. To learn more, talk with one of our Baytown property managers by calling 281-984-7463.
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