Winterizing Your Rental Property: Helpful Tips for Landlords and Renters

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven though the cold season may be slow to arrive, when it does, you don’t want to discover that your home or apartment wasn’t ready for freezing temperatures. Below are a few tips for winterizing your rental property.  Using these tips could save a lot of unnecessary money and help prevent costly repairs down the road.

In order to avoid a lengthy to-do list, Housing Helpers has presented the following information with the fitting acronym of SNOW-Seal, Note, Outside, and Windows.

  • Seal: The first step to winterizing your rental unit is to seal any holes, cracks, or crumbling mortar. Key areas to check include walls, window sills, wood trimming, siding, and near electrical outlets and doors. Using caulk or weather strips in these areas, will help keep the weather out and the warmth in.
  • Note: Take note of your heating system before you need to rely on it through the cold winter days. Also check the pilot light and burners if your heating system runs on gas or oil, and don’t forget the filter which may have collected dust and pollutant build-up. Note that smoke alarms and monoxide detectors are in working order, while homes are likely to be enclosed with running heat during the winter and therefore more susceptible to fire.
  • Outside: This section covers the importance of winterizing gutters, roofs, and outside faucets. If snow falls on clogged gutters, it will hinder the water from effectively draining from the roof. In addition, pay close attention to any loose or damaged shingles because the weight of snow is bound to worsen their conditions. If there is a chimney, inspect that also. Wrapping exposed pipes with heating tape or some sort of insulating cover is a good way to protect them. In addition, it is also important to drain any exterior spigots and pipes, and detach exterior hoses to avoid freezing excess water. If the property is vacant, drain all water from the pipes.
  • Windows: If storm windows are not an option, you can still enhance your heat efficiency by protecting them with plastic sheeting. It may not be the prettiest addition to your home, but it will assuredly increase the heat efficiency by trapping the warm air inside.

Ultimately, the aim of the SNOW list is to help to keep your property in good shape until the weather warms up again.  Happy winterizing!