Sunshine is thawing out the last remnants of winter as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, that means it’s time for spring maintenance at your rental properties. Crossing off the items on your spring cleaning to do list and getting after these simple maintenance jobs will fend off potential moisture problems, prevent costly repairs, and pave the way for a trouble-free summer.
Clean the Gutters
You might be thinking, “Again? Didn’t I just do this?”. Yep, but believe it or not, it’s already been six months since the fall gutter duty. A minimum of twice yearly gutter cleaning is recommended to prevent water damage from debris-clogged gutters.
If winter storms have left gunk in the downspout gooseneck, force it out with a garden hose. If you still can’t unclog the drainage system, consider calling in an expert. A debris-clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home.
You should remind your tenants to check for mold that can build up in the winter from interior humidity and offer solutions on simple ways to eliminate the issue.
Even if you have never had a leak, heavy rains may cause small puddles or dampness in your basement or attic. It will soon begin to smell musty and mildew. You may need to hire or install a dehumidifier to dry it out before mildew and mold develop.
If mold growth has gone beyond the surface of the interior walls and penetrated the structure of your home, you will need to hire a professional. To find out more about a landlord’s responsibilities with mold, check out an article on Mold and Your Rental Home.
Inspect the Roof
A regular roof inspection can help extend roof life expectancy and reduce the need for emergency repairs. Regularly inspecting and maintaining roof surfaces, drains and downspouts is critical to an overall building preventive maintenance program. Springtime roof inspections aim to identify potential damage caused by winter storms.
You should check out the interior walls and ceilings for signs of water stains, cracks and settling of foundation walls. During an exterior roof inspection you are looking for curled and missing shingles, rusted and pitted flashing, and cracked caulk around pipe collars, skylights, and other roof penetrations.
Spring Clean the Exterior
Blast off winter grime on your property by polishing the exterior before the summer time heat makes extraneous water use irresponsible. Check for areas that could use a good power-washing. A simple exterior cleaning can breathe new life into your property. Look for any chips in the exterior paint; exposed wood can rot, so give worn areas a coat of fresh paint.
Spring Landscaping can include lawn aeration, overseeding, fertilization, and pruning of shrubs or trees. Keep branches 5 to 7 feet away from your house so they can’t conduct moisture onto your roofing and siding. You’ll also help discourage squirrels and raccoons from exploring ways to nest in your attic.
Mowing and weeding your grass now will help you stay on top of any sudden growth that takes place when the weather warms up. Early spring is also a great time for pruning flowering trees and fruit trees since they will start budding soon. Now is the time to start thinking about landscape management; planting annuals right now is a low maintenance way to give a dash of color to a yard and increase your property’s curb appeal.
Check Foundation Vents
A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps dissipate excess moisture and prevent mold growth. The vents have screens that keep critters from taking up residence under your residence. The screens usually are recessed and become catch-alls for leaves, twigs and assorted debris.Clean the vents by hand or a shop vacuum.
It is important to complete certain home maintenance tasks each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep the property’s systems running properly. Spring maintenance, cleaning, servicing, and landscaping will keep your investment property looking good and your tenants happy.