HOW TO: WINTERIZE YOUR VACATION RENTAL PROPERTY

October 22, 2020

By f_david

The prime summer rental season is behind us. With the arrival of fall, Old Man Winter will be showing his face very soon. Winter is a time to enjoy the indoors and time with family and friends. But it can also spell trouble for rental properties that haven’t been properly safeguarded against the elements. Don’t get caught unprepared.

Autumn is a great time to start winterizing your vacation rental property. Here are several ways you can help avoid a rental property disaster during the winter months:

Hone in on heating. Check up on thermostats to make sure they’re functioning properly and replace furnace filters. An annual furnace and ductwork inspection is always a good idea.

Remove roof and gutter gunk. Clean out gutters and pay attention to places on the roof where excess snow might create stress.

Patrol the perimeter. Check sheds and garages for repairs as needed. Clean out window wells and drain water from garden hoses and sprinkler systems.

Wrap up windows. Replace screens with glass on utility windows and doors and consider whether shrink-wrap or other insulation might serve as a good buffer against the cold, reducing utility costs.

Evaluate alert systems. Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, changing batteries as needed.

Be water wise. Turn off the water supply to the house to avoid any pipes from freezing. The main water valve is usually found at the water meter around the home’s exterior, or in the basement.

Lock up. It probably goes without saying, but high-quality locks for your doors and windows are a must. Check that all your windows and doors are secured and locked. An alarm system is also a worthy investment. Many allow for remote monitoring via an app, so you can have that peace of mind when you’re away.

Use common sense. If you can’t be on site from time to time, it’s always best to have someone look after your property when you are gone. You could ask a neighbor to periodically check in on your home and notify you if anything is amiss. However, this can be a lot to ask as a favor. That’s where we come in.

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