It’s the most wonderful time of year – if you’re property prepared. Cold temperatures are here, and winterizing and preparing your property now will ensure a comfortable and efficient home environment. Here are strategies to prepare your property for winter weather.
While attics can be draft conductors, they also are among the easiest areas to reinforce. The simple addition of extra insulation can improve heat retention and localize incoming air blasts. If applied properly, proper insulation can reduce energy costs and serve as a selling point.
Drafts may not seem like a big deal, but the average home has enough air leakage that it adds up to a two-foot square hole, according to the Department of Energy. From the onset of acquiring a house, investors should inspect doors, windows and siding for gaps and holes that allow cold air into the space. If areas need repair, foam sealants, weather strips and caulk offer low-hassle, low-cost solutions that will prove their value almost immediately.
While preparing for cooler temperatures, remember to assess the plumbing. Pipe maintenance takes greater priority during the winter, as leaking and freezing both elevate the risk of bursts and potential water damage. Evaluate pipes for cracks or disconnects before winter arrives to reduce the likelihood of a costly repair.
With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, lighting is an often overlooked area for energy savings. Many investors and tenants have been hesitant to switch to LED bulbs because they didn’t like the quality of the light.
There are good options, though. Such as the 75-Watt replacement LED R20, which is one of the brightest bulbs available and delivers a clean, high quality light that fills up large rooms. It uses 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and lasts more than 20 years, which means you don’t need to worry about tenants climbing ladders to replace the lights.
Ice and snow accumulation can become a safety risk. Instead of waiting for a weather event, stock up on salt, ice melt and tools a good while before the storm when the demand is less urgent and the price is cheaper. Stowing these items away keeps an adequate supply on hand to address challenges and helps deter tenants from venturing out in potentially unsafe conditions.
The fall months also are a great time to check the performance of shovels, snow blowers and other removal equipment. If these tools are outdated, consider upgrading to a powerful alternative that clears space quickly without disturbing neighbors, such as EGO’s 56 Volt Snow Blower. This blower uses a lithium-ion battery to deliver the power of gas without the noise and mess.
Smart thermostats not only reduce the toll on HVAC systems, they also give home a contemporary feel to entice potential buyers or renters. Options like the ecobee4 adjust the temperature based on occupancy trends. They also synchronize their smartphones to watch and adjust temperature settings from any location, and the ecobee includes Amazon Alexa voice service. This added control will help reduce heating bills and allow you to monitor the temperature remotely.
It’s important to do inspections on your investments regularly. Check for leaks, cracks or insulation problems now, because once winter weather arrives, property maintenance can be challenging and expensive to fix.
From “Winterizing Your Investment Property for Colder Temperatures” from Real Estate Journal written by Sulema Vela.
In these blisteringly cold winter months, you’ll want to be bundled up as warmly as possible. Make sure to keep all these tips in mind throughout these days of negative Fahrenheit temperatures.
We recommend that the thermostats be kept at a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit – never LOWER! This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
Ultimately, if you want to keep your property at an acceptable level of warmth for your tenants, you’ll probably have to invest in some useful winter paraphernalia. Here’s some for the pipes.
The roof area can also be a very dangerous area during the winter if left alone. When the top of your house absorbs the warmth from the other areas of the house, an ice dam will very likely form at the edge. They may seem like just a ridge of ice, but the water backing up behind the shield of snow can actually leak into the property, causing damage to walls, ceilings, insulations, and other areas. To prevent this kind of disaster from happening, you should invest in at least one of these helpful prevention tools.
The site does recommend instead to invest in a steamer to get the job done. Steam is the only safe way to remove ice dams without risking damage to the roof and won’t make any leakage worse. Snow blowers are also effective enough, but the key with ice removal here is to NOT stand on your roof.
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