Unpack the sweaters, long socks, and boots: winter is coming. Prepping your rental property ahead of time will save you from dealing with the cold and the added problems it brings with it.
- Leave the heat on
If you are planning on travelling for the holidays, you may consider leaving your heat on. Many of us are inclined to turn off the heat while we are away to save on our energy bill. However, if your pipes freeze (and burst!), you may be footing a much heftier bill. To solve this, leave your heat on at least 55 degrees. This will use minimal additional energy, but ensures your plumbing won’t freeze. If you are planning to travel for several weeks at a time, it’s always a good idea to get a neighbor to check in on your property while you’re away. Also be sure review your lease to ensure notification of your absence isn’t required.
- Inspect nearby trees
With winter comes, of course, snow. Even the smallest amount of piled snow can accumulate on a weak branch and snap it. If you feel your branches are strong enough to withstand a small amount of snow, bear in mind the simple process of freezing and thawing will weaken branches, too. Before it’s too cold to spend any significant amount of time outside, check the trees surrounding your rental property. Any dead or dying branches should be addressed before they get the chance to land on your car or home.
- Check for seals
Weatherproofing your home will keep you comfortable in the cold weather and save you money on your energy bill. Common air leak spaces to check include under doors and around window sills, but the most overlooked culprits can be found in attics, garages and fireplace flues.
Pro tip: turn off all fans and light a stick of incense. Run it around spaces you suspect may be letting in cold air. If you see the smoke stream waver, you likely have a draft.
- Clean your fireplace and chimney
The time to prepare your fireplace for use is now, not when it’s less than 20 degrees outside. Be sure to review your lease to ensure you are responsible for fireplace cleaning and if so, if any professional measures need to be taken. Built up soot inside the flue can catch fire and cause smoke to enter your home, so it is essential to get your fireplace cleaned before it’s used for the season.
- Protect your plants
Cold tolerance will vary from plant to plant, but most often you should be bringing your beloved plants indoors. At a minimum, set aside some sheets to cover hardier plants during hard freezes. More established plants can adapt to the colder temperatures, but, generally, newer plants will need a helping hand. While you’re tucking your plants inside, be sure to drain all hoses used for watering and wrap them up for the season. Like your indoor pipes, water left in hoses can freeze and ruin them before next season.
Before doing any permanent work around your rental property, be sure to consult your lease and contact Rooftop Real Estate Management. Our goal is to ensure you are comfortable and safe in your property, especially when temperatures begin to dip!