Prepping Your Rental For A California Winter

Prepping Your Rental For A California Winter
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California winters tend to be generally mild. At least there aren’t several feet of snowfall to contend with every season like in other parts of the country. But it doesn’t mean your rental property is immune to the potential effects of the winter season. To preserve your investment, you’ll want to be sure to take care of a few winterization tasks. Prepping your rental property for even a California winter can also protect you from more costly and unexpected repairs down the road.

Start on the Roof

It’s generally a good practice to have your rental property’s roof inspected before winter. A professional contractor or home inspector can identify any loose shingles or potential leaking areas of concern. Any areas that allow waterflow can then freeze to expand cracks and openings. Avoid more catastrophic leaks or damage in the spring by first inspecting and repairing any concerning areas of the roof.

Clean the Gutters & Remove Nearby Limbs

Along with your rental property roof, it’s also best to clean debris from the gutters. Any clogs will result in pooling or redirection of water flow, which could cause more significant damage to the roof and foundation. Make sure those gutters also have extensions that channel melting or frigid rainwater away from the property at least six feet. Be mindful, too, of any low hanging branches or limbs that extend over the driveway, roof, or garage structures. California winters can get cold and windy, making tree limbs brittle or heavy. A falling branch could cause serious damage to your rental property or to the tenants’ vehicles.

Disconnecting Hoses

It’s not often that California winters see freezing or below-freezing temperatures. But nature can be unpredictable and frozen pipes can turn into costly repair bills. Consider unhooking any yard hoses and turning off any outdoor faucets to help protect against those frigid temperatures. If it gets cold enough, water can freeze in the lines and result in leaks.

Sealing Driveway & Sidewalk Cracks

If your rental property sidewalks or driveways have cracks, it may be a good idea to seal them. There are various sealants available at most hardware stores, making this an easy task. Sealing any openings in the concrete can prevent winter rains or melting ice water from seeping into them. Cracks, over time, will expand based on their exposure to water and freezing temperatures.

Inspecting a Fireplace

If your rental property features a fireplace, you’ll want to have a professional chimney sweep perform an inspection before winter. Before your tenants start a fire, you’ll need to make sure the flue is clear, and the chimney structure itself is secure. Avoid potential mishaps or unintended fire hazards this winter with a proper chimney inspection.

Seasonal Maintenance Check of the HVAC Unit

Probably the most essential winter prep task you’ll want to add to your list is an official maintenance appointment with your professional HVAC contractor. You will want to make sure the heating unit operates as intended before the chilly California winter sets in with frigid temperatures. And having seasonal and routine maintenance checks can help you budget and plan for repairs or identify early signs of failures before they happen.

Before you embark on the rental property winterization steps, you’ll, of course, want to provide ample notice to your tenants about your efforts. They will appreciate your proactive approach to winter maintenance. And you’ll have peace of mind, going into the California winter, that your rental property is safe and prepared.

For more best practices about preserving and maintaining your California rental property, contact the professionals at PMI Contra Costa CONTRA COSTA. Our rental property management teams can help organize your winterization steps and coordinate with your current tenants. Learn more and explore a partnership today.

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