Property managers know that as summer ends – before the weather turns and the holidays hijack routines – there is a perfect window to accomplish yearly maintenance and seasonal duties. Getting ahead of these can save money in bills and repairs (especially when weather conditions can make it more complicated), reduce the likelihood of emergency calls, and sustain the property value. To help, AHRN.com has created the property managers checklist for fall!
ALL SYSTEMS GO
Check through AC systems, vents, filters, and take care of any needs before turning it off. Service and test heating/furnaces and filters, refill fuel tanks.
Look for any dust build up or blocks in , baseboard heaters, HVAC units, driers and fans.
Do thorough check of plumbing, especially outdoors if winter comes to your area. Clear shower drains. If you find any corroded or rusting piped under sinks or elsewhere, play it safe and replace rather than patch them. Be sure the water heater is up to par too. Outdoors drain and remove hoses, adjust shut off valves inside for each spigot, and add insulated hose bibs or covers.
If you have a buried sprinkler/irrigation system, ensure the proper maintenance is followed to prepare for winter weather.
Clear gutters that may have collected nesting and roof materials since spring, or newly falling leaves. Before you put away those hoses, run water through your entire system to be sure everything is draining properly. Inventory and replace any dented, cracked or missing hangers, downspouts or splash blocks.
INSULATION AND MOLD
Check insulation that may that may need securing, patching or replacing to keep heat in and prevent ice dams. Test several spots all through to catch places it could have gotten soggy in the summer months – and keep an eye peeled for any mold that could have grown or be on it’s way on the abutting surfaces before it’s a huge remediation project.
When it gets cooler, many critters seek to set up shop inside! Check obvious entrances and dam them up with stainless steel and foam, and schedule any spraying or other services needed specific to each property. Others – like insects – die out, so things like a summer wasp nest by an outdoor light can be safely removed.
Take steps to prevent infestation by clearing any debris/leaves/branches that may have fallen along the edges of your home.
Clean flue/chimney… and it does not hurt to go the extra mile and light a fire to be sure that everything is working properly and prevent that discovery when the time isn’t right! Check that all your fire extinguishers are refilled and mounted properly, positioned in enough key locations. Replace any that might be so old that they would not work properly, even if they are full.
Be sure all fire and carbon monoxide alarms have new batteries, and that any radon or other meters required for your area are in solid working condition.
Check bulbs in all hallways and staircases, vestibules, doorways and parking lots so that all public areas are well lit as the days grow darker earlier and will stay so for months.
Service or purchase snow blowers, shovels, roof scrapers, salt and anything needed for weather in your part of the country now while they’re in stock. Be sure they are distributed to various storage areas and are front in center so they’ll be easy to access when needed. Don’t let a freak early storm catch you unprepared.
Inspect sidewalks, drive ways, staircases and such to be sure they are up to code. If you need to wait till spring for real repairs, do good, level patch work now. You will never regret preventing accidents to the extent you can and also any erosion that will likely accelerate due to rain, snow or extreme temps.
PATIOS and PORCHES
Give a good sweep and/or power wash to patios, decks, porches and their walkways.
ROOF and BASEMENT
Do a good once over of the roof and patch missing shingles to hold things until spring. Inspect the basement areas thoroughly and call in a company if something is in question. While waterproofing overall should be looked after annually, if you are seeing cracks, leaks (or organic matter as a result) in the basement don’t take a chance – get a company in to inform you and form solutions from there. If you need to wait till spring, make the best use of waterproofing – both tape and paint – where advised. These two foundational structures are likely to be having routine checks but the winter is when you don’t want to have issues as it’s hard to get work done on either.
You may have contracts with local companies that give discounted rates for regular service, a full time handyman, or a list of several locals who can do smaller things well. If you work on a very limited budget, you should still prioritize each item, schedule them for yourself (or your team) one at a time over the next two months, and tick them off. You can then have a list of what you discover and determine what is most important to do with whatever resources you have available. If something seems costly, taking a gamble to let it go one more season might end up costing you many times more in extraneous damages and hardship.
Preventing issues makes it a happy winter season across the board for you, your employer and the tenants. Personalize the list above, and with a little planning, you’ve got this!
Meet Your Contributor:
Rochelle Joseph is a Writer and Image Consultant who has had experience marketing, renting and buying/selling her properties for over 20 years. She has written and edited for several publications, including the Boston Book Review, The Emerson Review, ZooBorns.com, WildLife Magazine, the Houston Zoo, The Wildlife Center of Texas, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary as well as AHRN.com. She currently writes at her great gifts blog at https://lookyhereu.blogspot.com and her animal blog at https://naturegirrrl.blogspot.com