How to Get Your Rental Property Ready for Winter

It’s the middle of fall and the cold air is starting to creep in. Winter’s just months away. And although the cold season in Salt Lake City rarely falls below freezing temperatures, it can still get chilly. After all, the city is known for its various snowboarding, snowshoeing and skiing destinations.

A variety of property maintenance challenges can come with winter.

  • Temperature control – The most obvious one is temperature control. You don’t want to get complaints from tenants because your building’s heating system is busted or isn’t doing enough. There could also be cold drafts that come from cracks and holes in your building, making your system work harder, and in turn, making your bills more expensive.
  • Frozen Pipes – Temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit can cause undrained water to freeze. When this happens, the ice inside the pipes can expand and cause it to crack or even burst. You’ll end up with leaks, or worse, a water system that’s completely out of order.
  • Collapsed Roof – Even if your roof is durable, extreme heat and cold can wear it out. Snow weighs around 20 pounds per cubic foot, so having it build up can definitely create significant pressure on your roof. Too much of that pressure can cause the roof to collapse, possibly injuring your employees, tenants and guests.
  • Slips and Falls – Icy roads are slippery for both vehicles and pedestrians. Your rental property’s walkways and driveways may get its fair share of ice and snow buildup. You don’t want a lawsuit on your hands because someone got injured on your slippery pavement.
  • Landscape Problems – You also need to worry about the welfare of your plants and lawn during winter. Snow can also build up on your trees (if you have any) and possibly cause branches to collapse. Road salt from vehicles crossing your driveway can burn your plants’ leaves. Plus, there’s also the probability of pink mold forming on your grass because of the moisture from winter. A real pain to clean up, for sure.

Prepare Your Property for Winter

As with any problem, prevention is always better than a cure. If you want your property to be ready for the winter, here are maintenance essentials you should never forget.

  • Inspect and Service Your Heating System – Your heating system will work overtime to make sure your building is nice and toasty during the cold season. As such, your furnace in Salt Lake City should always be in top condition. Start by looking at your furnace filter. If it’s dirty, you may be letting dirt and other contaminants into your furnace. Dirt can also clog the filters, restricting airflow in your furnace. This problem could cause the system to overheat and shut down entirely.

Another component you can look at and test is the thermostat. Turn it on and start turning up the temperature. Your furnace should be able to run until it reaches the thermostat’s requested temperature. There should be no shutdowns during this process. If there are any, your furnace may be short-cycling. This problem needs the special attention of an HVAC repair specialist.

  • Keep Your Pipes in Good Shape – If you’re worried about frozen pipes, you can buy foam pipe insulation and wrap the ones that are most likely to be exposed to the cold. Make sure to keep your thermostat at a constant temperature both day and night. You may incur higher bills, but it ensures that your pipes stay warm throughout the winter.
  • Inspect Your Roof – Inspect your building’s roof to see if it’s still in good shape. Check the gutters if there are any clogs or debris buildup and remove them immediately. Inspect the flashing or the thin metal material that bridges the gap between your roof and a vertical surface to see if it’s damaged or rusted. It may need to be replaced, as a damaged flashing may let water and drafts into your building. Get missing or broken shingles replaced immediately as well to ensure your roof’s structure stays stable in time for winter.
  • Keep Your Landscape and Pavement in Good Shape – Hire a landscaping contractor to keep your lawn in good shape so that it doesn’t develop any diseases during the winter. Ask them to prune and inspect your privet trees. Seal cracks in your walkways and driveways to prevent further damage to the concrete when it gets wet during winter. Work with a concrete contractor to ensure it has enough drainage too, so you don’t end up with slippery, frozen puddles during the cold season.

Winter is just months away, bringing the holiday season along with it. Unfortunately, it also brings a variety of cold weather issues for both residential and commercial properties. Get your building ready for the harsh cold of winter with these helpful suggestions.

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