People with rental property sometimes forget about the importance of winterizing that home, especially if it becomes vacant in the fall. When the snow comes and it gets cold, you can run into problems if you haven’t re-rented your property or performed some crucial preventative maintenance. Pipes can freeze and break, and those are winter problems you want to avoid with your rental property.
Shutting off the Water
First, you have to decide to what level you want to winterize the property. Some homeowners and landlords will call a professional plumber who will turn off the water, blow out the lines and make sure there is no water in them for the season. That’s a thorough way to do it. We typically go to the property and turn off the water, then run the faucets to get the water out of them, and that’s good enough. If something happens and the heat gets turned off, at least the pipes, if they freeze, wouldn’t leak and break all over the place. Getting your water turned off is main thing in winterizing your property.
Make sure utilities are turned over into your name when a tenant moves out. You don’t want to have the gas company turning off the gas, because that could cause problems at the house. Sometimes when tenants are moving out, they will not have the heat on or it will be turned way down. Check and make sure there’s heat at the house.
Multi-Unit Buildings and Basements
Look for potential problems in the common areas of a multi-unit building. If you have four units with a shared laundry room, you may have the laundry machines in the basement. If those pipes are close to an exterior wall, they can freeze. Make sure you have some heat in the basement, especially if you have electric baseboard heat in the rest of the property.
Winterization is important and we have checklists that help us remember what we need to do at our properties. We’re here to serve, so contact us at Real Property Management Southwest Michigan.