With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, it’s time for landlords and property managers to get serious about snow clearing their Boston properties. Cold, wet weather can take a toll on a property. It’s important to be proactive as repair costs can quickly add up!
Here are a few maintenance tips that will give landlords peace of mind in the months to come.
Clean the gutters and ensure proper drainage
Meanwhile, the trees in Boston have shed most of their leaves. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can clog gutters. If water also collects on the roof, it can cause clogging, resulting in costly roof damage. If you want to clean your gutters properly, here’s some advice: make sure you have a sturdy ladder and dress appropriately; Then use a scraper or trowel to clean gutters of leaves and other debris. Then flush your gutters to make sure everything flows freely to the downspouts. Make sure you are ready to take on the task or hire a professional to do it.
This is also a good time to check the drainage around your Boston rental property. Make sure all drains around the property are properly graded to prevent water from pooling around the foundation. Otherwise, you could face erosion or leaks in the basement.
Prepare the garden for harsh winter weather
Now is a good time to get the garden ready for the harsh winter weather before it comes. Rake leaves and trim hedges one last time. Remove weaker branches that could fall under the weight of the snow. Fertilize the grass and remove plants or roots that may interfere with siding, outdoor patios, or brick walkways.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to clean and store all patio furniture, grills, etc. Remind tenants to do the same if they have their personal belongings outside! Finally, make sure to disconnect hoses and drain sprinkler systems. Otherwise the pipes could freeze from the cold and your hoses and other water lines could burst.
If you have plants, remember that they don’t need to be watered as often in the winter. If you water them, make sure it’s daytime on a warmer day.
Check the insulation around windows and doors
The seams and seals around doors and windows can allow hot air to escape and drive up heating bills. That’s a big problem for landlords who have to pay heating bills — especially since National Grid estimates a 64% increase in monthly bills from customers. The price of natural gas is significantly higher this year, mainly due to inflation and the lack of nationwide domestic energy production. In order to reduce their financial damage, landlords would do well to ensure that their property is well insulated!
To check for possible leaks, turn on any exhaust fans in the home (such as bathroom fans or stove hoods), then carefully move a lit candle around the seams of doors and windows. As the flame flickers or the smoke shifts, air escapes (either in or out). Depending on how severe the leak is, you may consider sealing cracks with caulk, or you may want to replace windows entirely. Remember that new windows, if necessary, can increase the value of your rental property.
Finally, make sure you cover or store AC units for the winter. The gaps between windows and elements are often overlooked as potential insulation problems!
Getting heating systems warm and ready
Make sure vents are clear, filters are in good condition, and your heating systems are in good condition. If your rental has a gas-fired water heater, you can reduce costs by insulating the tank to keep the water warmer longer. Insulation sleeves are available at most home supply stores and come with installation instructions. While you’re at it, consider draining water heaters. Flushing the system once a year will remove deposits from the tank that can cause it to work harder.
Make fire safety a priority
Did you know that more home fires happen during the winter months than at any other time of the year? It’s true! Fires are often started by residents lighting candles, stoking stoves and using space heaters to keep warm. Avoid fires in your rental property by testing all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Replace the batteries as needed. Also, consider giving residents new fire extinguishers.
Finally, if one of your homes has a working fireplace or wood-burning stove, now is a good time for a good old-fashioned chimney sweep. Make sure all vents and vents are working properly to allow smoke to escape properly. Clean chimney caps and consider resealing to prevent clogging. Birds love to build their nests on chimney caps!
Get the support of a professional
If all that fall and winter work seems daunting, consider enlisting the help of a property manager, landscaping company, or other professional. Do-it-yourself landlords often fall behind on these important tasks, exposing their investment properties over time to needing costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided. In the end, hiring a professional is a smaller investment than having to deal with a major repair.
Protect your real estate investment in Boston
Peace of mind is the most important thing and we want to help you not worry about a thing. Staying on top of maintaining your Boston real estate is important, and we want to help you through every step. Please visit the Boston Pads Real Estate Portal for more valuable information – we have more tips and resources for Boston landlords than anyone else. We look forward to working with you!
Release date: December 5, 2022
Demetrios Salpoglou is CEO of bostonpads.com, an information and technology based services company that provides real estate companies with state-of-the-art resources. Demetrios has developed over 90 real estate related websites and owns hundreds of domain names. Demetrios also owns and operates six leading real estate offices with over 140 agents.
Demetrios has assembled the largest home rental team in the Boston area and is responsible for sourcing more rental homes than anyone else in New England – with over 100,000 people finding housing through his services. Demetrios is an enthusiastic real estate developer, peak performance coach, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.