Automobile owners don't think twice about preventative vehicle maintenance.
They change the oil to protect the car's engine, inspect tires to prevent tire damage and fill fluids to keep their cars and trucks running efficiently.
But what about maintenance for rental property?
If you're a first-time homeowner and new landlord, you might not realize that regular maintenance for rental property is just as critical as it is for your car, especially in the springtime after the harsh effects of winter have beaten, bruised and blemished your home or condo.
Ignoring spring maintenance can create bigger problems like severe water damage, toxic mold and insect infestation—which are all expensive to rectify.
We understand your priority of running a cost-effective property, so we've created a handy guide just for you.
Cost Prevention: The Essential Spring Maintenance Guide for First-Time Homeowners and Landlords.
- The Roof and Your Rooftop Deck
The polar vortex might be gone, but its effects are probably still on your roof. Check the roof for broken, missing or buckling shingles and cracked caulk. According to The National Association of Realtors you can purchase a bundle of shingles for $24 and caulk for $6.
One of D.C.'s must-have amenities is a rooftop deck. The winter usually cracks its seal. Reseal the deck in the springtime to protect your building from costly water damage and insect infestation.
- Gutter Downspouts
Gutters downspouts are essential to keep water away from your home. During the winter, gutters can sag and downspouts loosen. Your property manager can offer tips for free flow protection, including putting screens on spouts and caps on gutters. Make sure gutter extensions flow away from your rental property to keep water away from your foundation and basement.
- Your HVAC Unit Filter and Condensate Line
It's essential to perform springtime maintenance on your HVAC unit. Be sure to replace the filter, which costs under $10. If you don't, the unit can stop working. At worst, you can wear out the blower motor. This can cost you thousands of dollars to replace. Your property manager can coordinate maintenance with you and send out a helpful reminder when it's time to change the filters.
During HVAC servicing the condensate line needs to be flushed. If you don't flush the line severe water damage can occur to your home. If you're in an upstairs condo the water can leak to the unit below, resulting in thousands of dollars in potential damage.
- Termite Inspection
Although termites benefit the ecosystem by adding nutrients to the soil, says orkin.com, they cause billions of dollars in structural damage to U.S. homes every year, says the National Association of Realtors' blog, houselogic.com. Early detection can avoid expensive fumigation and relocating tenants. Ask your rental manager how you can do a self-check test.
Have a question about spring maintenance? Leave it here.
– By Stacy Sare Cohen