10 Top Tips to Prepare Your Rental Property for Winter
Owning commercial real estate comes with a certain amount of responsibility. When you own a multifamily property, for example, you need to commit to regular maintenance of the buildings in your care.
This is especially true when the seasons change. With winter around the corner, now is the perfect time for you to look at basic ways to prepare your commercial property for the coming shift in weather.
Make a note of our 10 top tips to make a plan of action to get your rental property for winter.
Why is Winter Preparation Important for Multifamily Properties?
Winter preparation is crucial for multifamily properties for several reasons.
Proper winter preparation ensures the safety of tenants and property alike. Extreme temperatures and inclement weather can pose a range of safety hazards, including frozen pipes and slippery walkways. By taking preventative measures such as insulating pipes and walkways, installing draft guards, and ensuring proper ventilation, property owners can minimize the risk of accidents.
Reduced Energy Costs
Winter preparation also helps save on energy costs. Rental properties that are properly insulated and have energy-efficient heating systems can significantly reduce utility costs during the colder months. This not only benefits the property owner but also makes the property more attractive to potential tenants who are increasingly conscious of energy efficiency.
Prevents Costly Damage
Lastly, winter preparation helps prevent costly damage to the property. Water damage from burst pipes, leaks, or excess moisture can result in significant expenses and disruptions. By cleaning gutters, sealing windows and doors, insulating attics and crawl spaces, and investing in programmable thermostats, property owners can mitigate the risk of water damage and maintain the integrity of their investment.
When to Prepare Your Property For Winter
Multi-family rental properties come with many advantages, but getting the timing wrong on prepping for winter can be catastrophic.
Property owners should start well before the winter season to allow for any necessary repairs or improvements.
By prioritizing safety, energy savings, and damage prevention, property owners can ensure happy tenants and a successful winter period for their multifamily properties.
Rental Property Owner’s Winter Checklist
So, how do you prepare your rental property for winter?
Our winter checklist outlines some of the key preventative measures and maintenance tasks to help protect your investment property and keep it running efficiently throughout the winter season.
1. Inspect and Clean Gutters
One essential task for winter preparation is inspecting and cleaning your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to a range of problems such as leaking roofs, ice dams, basement flooding, and water damage. To ensure that your gutters are clean and free of debris, hire a professional gutter cleaning service or do it yourself.
2. Install Draft-Proofing Materials
An easy way to ensure your rental property is ready for winter is by installing draft-proofing materials. Draft-proofing helps to reduce air leakage and improve energy efficiency, while also helping to keep tenants warm and comfortable during the winter months.
Draft-proofing materials such as weatherstripping, caulk, foam insulation, and window film can all be used to create an effective barrier against cold air entering the property. Weatherstripping should be installed along any gaps in doors or windows, while caulk should be used to seal up any cracks or crevices in walls or floors. Foam insulation can also help to fill in any gaps between wall studs, while window film can provide additional insulation.
3. HVAC Concerns
Another area to pay attention to with multifamily properties is the HVAC system. In order for your tenants to stay warm and comfortable throughout the colder months, your building needs to have a functional HVAC system. Regular maintenance on your units should help you avoid any lasting issues and spot problems before they turn into small disasters.
4. Invest in an Energy Efficient Water Heater
An energy-efficient water heater can help save on energy bills, while also providing hot water for showers, dishwashing, and laundry.
The first step in investing in an energy-efficient water heater is to research the different types of water heaters available. Some common types include tankless, solar, and electric. It’s important to consider the size of your property and the amount of hot water that will be needed when choosing a water heater.
We’d always recommend speaking to a professional before installing a new heater. It’s a vital part of your property and there are a myriad of ways it can go wrong. Speaking of which…
5. Regularly Inspect Plumbing Pipes
One of the most important steps in winter preparation is regularly inspecting all plumbing pipes. Frozen or burst pipes can lead to costly damage and disruption for tenants, so it’s essential to inspect them before the coldest months of the year arrive.
The first step in inspecting plumbing pipes is to check for any visible signs of wear and tear. If any cracks or damage are found, the pipes may need to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that all exposed plumbing pipes are properly insulated to help protect them from freezing temperatures.
6. Programmable Thermostat Settings
One of the best ways to get your property ready for cold temperatures is by installing and properly setting up a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can help you save money on energy costs and keep tenants more comfortable throughout the winter season.
When setting up your programmable thermostat, it’s important to set the temperature for when tenants are away and when they’re at home. For example, you can set your thermostat lower during the night or while tenants are away, and then set it higher when they come home. This will help to reduce energy costs while also keeping tenants comfortable.
7. Insulate Your Attic Space
A crucial area to insulate in your multifamily property is the attic — it can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your building warm and energy-efficient throughout the winter months.
To get started, you’ll need to inspect the existing insulation in your attic and determine if it needs to be replaced or supplemented. Once you know what kind of insulation you need, you’ll be able to purchase the appropriate materials and start installing.
8. Check for Excess Water or Moisture Damage
As the cold winter season approaches, multifamily property owners and managers need to prepare their buildings for the harsher weather. One important step in winter preparation is to check for any excess water or moisture damage that could have occurred during the warmer months. This could include checking around windows, doors, roofs, and other areas of the building where moisture buildup can occur.
If there are any signs of water or moisture damage, the issue should be addressed immediately. This could include sealing any cracks or gaps in the building, repairing any damaged materials, and installing additional insulation to help prevent future damage.
9. Wet Floors
You will also find that it is helpful to check the building regularly throughout the winter in order to notice any problems that might have come up as the season has progressed. Wet floors tend to be commonplace during the winter, especially when snow covers the ground and people track it indoors with them as they move. Have someone on-hand in your building to mop and dry the floors regularly to avoid a situation where a renter slips and falls.
10. Lighting Concerns
Be sure to do a perimeter check of the property in addition to any indoor examinations you conduct. Outdoor lighting can be susceptible to shifting temperatures, causing light fixtures to take on damage and bulbs to blow out.
Before the winter arrives, be sure to take a look at all of the lighting fixtures surrounding your multifamily property and see if you need to add any extra protection to keep these areas secure.
Prepping your property for the winter requires a little bit of forethought. Take your time and look at the most pressing areas of your real estate. Take action right away and keep your building and your tenants safe as the seasons change.
If you need funding for your rental property development, get in touch with our expert team at Express Capital Financing. Whether you’re a small business, medium firm, or large corporation, we can help you get the capital that you need.