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Seasonal maintenance may be a chore, but routine inspections and proactive upkeep will keep your costs down and ensure that your rental property does not require preventable expensive repairs.
As the old adage goes, spring usually brings showers. You can prepare for this extra moisture by completing some of these simple tasks:
Check out the interior walls and ceilings for signs of water stains, cracks and settling of foundation walls. During an exterior roof inspection, you should be looking for curled or missing shingles; rusted and pitted flashing; and cracked caulk around pipe collars, skylights and other roof penetrations. Last winter, many in the Northwest experienced ice dams due to the extended cold weather. This can cause significant damage to a home. It's always a good idea to double-check for any lasting impacts from a rough winter season.
Remind your tenants to check for mold that can build up in the winter from interior humidity. Heavy rains may cause small puddles or dampness in the basement or attic. It will soon begin to smell musty. You may need to install a dehumidifier to dry it out before mold develops.
Clean the gutters
A debris-clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Most people use a sturdy extension ladder and scoop out the gunk into a bucket. There are tools at home improvement stores that allow you to accomplish removal from the ground. If winter storms have left debris in the downspout gooseneck, force it out with a garden hose.
Clean recessed foundation vents
Just like gutters, vents can become catch-alls for leaves, twigs and assorted debris. Clean the vents by hand or with a shop vacuum.
Of course, there is always landscaping to do in springtime. Common tasks include lawn aeration, overseeding, fertilization and pruning of shrubs. Early spring is also a great time for pruning flowering trees and fruit trees since they will start budding soon. Despite our best efforts in the fall, there are usually some leftover leaves to finish cleaning up, as well.
Taking extra care of the exterior of your property as the seasons change can help prevent structural damage, save energy and keep the property's systems running properly. While some maintenance tasks must be completed seasonally, don't forget about your annual tasks, as well. Maintenance, cleaning, servicing and landscaping guarantees that your property remains in good shape and your investment is protected for the coming years.