All PostsManaging Your Rental October 17, 2019

Tasks to Tackle Before Temperatures Plummet


The following article was contributed for our republication by WinterizeGuys.  The work involved in carrying out their tips for maintaining your home in the winter may fall on a landlord, or on a tenant, depending on the item and on your lease.  Either way, it’s important to manage the process and ensure that someone actually is taking care of these necessary tasks.


Winter is on its way to Washington. Even though temperatures should not drop below freezing for a while yet, late summer and early fall is the perfect time to winterize your home. Small steps now can have a big impact when Mother Nature gives you the cold shoulder. Here are a few ways to weather the wrath of winter weather where your home is concerned.


Check the electric.


During the cold winter months, your tenants likely use more electricity than normal when the sun keeps the house warm and bright. Because of this, you are more likely to experience electrical issues. Fortunately, a quick system tune-up by your preferred provider can identify and eliminate many issues that could leave you in a cold, dark house.


Put your outdoor furniture indoors.


Most patio furniture and outdoor decor needs to find a new home until spring. Snow, rain, and other unfortunate elements can damage wicker, fabric, and metal. If your tenants don’t have space in the garage, you can suggest they find a storage unit in the Seattle area to keep the outdoor items in great condition while they hibernate. The average cost of renting a self-storage unit in Seattle is $131 per month, but it’s not impossible to find cheaper options if they shop around for sign-up deals and promotions.


Clean the gutters.


Cleaning gutters is something you should be intimately familiar with by now. As the leaves start falling, your home’s drainage system can get full, and that can leave you in a bad position. Heavy, wet leaves can crack your gutters, and the extra weight can also put unnecessary strain on your roof. This can leave cracks that allow ice and water to get inside the home, which can trigger mold and structural damage. You’ll need to clean your gutters every three months if you have pine trees nearvby. Prepare to pay an average $75 – $125 to have your gutters professionally cleaned.


Seal doors and windows.


Drafty doors and windows make your HVAC system work overtime and can diminish the comfort of the home. Fortunately, one of the most common causes of air leaks is fairly simple to remedy on your own. Cracks in the caulk, which are caused by ever-changing temperatures, are an easy fix. Feldco explains that you can tell if you have a leaky window by running your hand along the seal. If it feels cool, it’s time to grab your caulking gun.


Close the pool.


If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in Seattle, it’s important to close it down properly to avoid future issues. Don’t wait too long, Swim University suggests closing down an above-ground pool when temperatures don’t climb beyond 65 degrees. You’ll need to have your supplies ready, including winter chemicals, and be prepared to get your hands dirty with a final cleaning before cover goes on.


Other Tips


In addition to the above, there are several other small chores that will pay off during the winter months.


  • Weatherproof exterior pipes to reduce the chances of them freezing
  • Ensure your generator is working in case of an extended power outage
  • Double check your attic/roof insulation
  • Bleed the radiator, if applicable
  • Schedule an HVAC checkup
  • Clean the dryer vents, which is the silver spring-looking pipe that leads from your dryer to the exterior
  • Inspect and test your sump pump


Getting your home ready for the cold of winter is not difficult. However, it does take time, and even doing one job each week will put you that much closer to being prepared for the worst so that your home can be its best when the mercury starts to fall. Work with your tenants and vendors to make sure your investment property is in good condition to take on the Winter.