Fall is finally here. While it can be tempting to spend the season lounging in front of the fireplace, you shouldn’t forget one critical thing: preparing your property for the wintry weather. As the country rapidly approaches the coldest season of the year, it’s important to ensure that your home can withstand the harshest weather conditions. Preparing now can save you from the trouble of having to repair your home — a costly ordeal that no property owner would want to deal with.
Fortunately, with a few steps, you can prepare your property for winter. By following the steps from our professional property managers below, you can prepare your property so that you can rest easy when it’s time for the first frost.
#1 Insulate the Pipes
Pipes should never be exposed to extreme conditions, especially when they are in cool areas such as a crawl space. When the temperature is as low as 32° Fahrenheit, the water inside the pipes can turn into ice, causing the pipe to explode. As a result, water will enter the home and cause damage to the structural components. The moisture can also lead to mold growth if it isn’t dealt with. To protect your pipes, you can wrap them with foam rubber or fiberglass. You can hire a professional to do it, but be prepared to spend anywhere between $100 and $1,000.
#2 Clean the Gutters
In general, you should clean the gutters each season, but it’s most important to complete this chore when winter hasn’t come yet. If your property is in an area that sees a lot of snow, your gutters may not be able to bear the weight. As a result, they will fall, causing damage to the foundation. In addition, if you forget to clean the gutters, ice may accumulate in them. When the ice melts, the water will travel into the house. Aside from that, clogged gutters also attract all sorts of creatures such as squirrels and possums.
#3 Trim Tree Branches
Walk through your property to check if any tree branches may break off during a storm. It is particularly important to inspect the areas that directly surround the home, as dead branches may fall onto your roof. Be on the lookout for spots that have dead leaves or areas that lack bark. If you’re not sure of your assessment, consider hiring a property management firm for their storm preparedness services. They will be able to spot suspicious branches — plus, in case something does happen, they can help you with post-storm clean-up.
#4 Service the Heating System
It can be a nightmare to have a damaged heating system during the coldest days of the season. To make sure that your heater is in working order, hire a technician to tune it up. If you don’t, you’ll end up spending the holidays wearing layers of sweaters. You should also consider inspecting your heater for carbon monoxide (CO) leakage. Keep in mind that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carbon monoxide leakage is more likely to occur during the colder seasons. If you’re worried about the cost, a property management company can find someone who can do it for a cheaper price.
#5 Recaulk the Doors and Windows
Make sure that your doors and windows are recaulked. That way, the heat will stay indoors and your heater doesn’t have to work twice as hard. Recaulking will also keep water from entering your property. Caulk the outer side of your property’s doors and windows with silicone caulking as it is less likely to shrink. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can buy a tube of caulk for $20. It can be a time-consuming chore, though, so you’d be better off hiring a professional to do it.
#6 Reverse the Ceiling Fans
As you’re probably aware, warm air goes up. By reversing your ceiling fans’ blades, you can force the warm air that has risen to the room’s ceiling to go down. In other words, you can circulate the warm air so that you don’t have to rely on your heater. This, in turn, can significantly cut your energy consumption. Remember to turn the fan off before reversing the blades to prevent any accidents.
#7 Drain the Sprinkler
If you have sprinklers in your backyard, drain them so they don’t crack the pipes during the coldest season of the year. Water that’s “stuck” inside the sprinkler can turn into ice. An irrigation contractor can do this for you for $75 to $250. Although you can do it yourself, it can be tricky if you don’t know your way around the plumbing.
#8 Inspect the Roof
This is one of the most critical steps in preparing your property for the season. During the winter, storms can wreak havoc on your roof, so it’s best to patch it up before it’s too late. If you don’t, you could be facing eye-watering repairs down the road. A contractor that is hired by a property management company can pinpoint issues such as loose shingles, and conduct repairs accordingly.
#9 Mulch the Flower Beds
Winter can be brutal for your flower beds. Before the first frost falls, add a generous layer of mulch to your garden. By doing this, you can insulate the soil so that the plants won’t be “surprised” when winter comes. If you don’t do this, the plants that you’ve patiently waited to grow will die.
#10 Hire a Property Manager
The best way to prepare your property for winter is by leaving it in the capable hands of a property management company. Property managers are familiar with what needs to be done during the fall. It’s their responsibility to look after properties and to make sure that they’re kept in pristine condition. Property management fees aren’t cheap, but you’ll be glad that you hired them. They can protect your home at times when you won’t be able to do it yourself.
Start by getting an obligation-free assessment of your property from Luxury Property Care. We provide property preservation services throughout the state of South Florida. Call us at (561) 944 – 2992 or complete our contact form to get started.