With the change in seasons comes a change to how properties are managed. Cooler temperatures means that structures must be inspected to make certain they are prepared to withstand the elements. Rain, hail, snow, falling leaves, wind storms and more can take a toll on a house if it is not in pristine condition. In addition to making sure a house is ready for fall and winter, routine property inspections can keep maintenance and repair costs at bay. Rocklin property management team, RPM SAC-METRO, has a don’t-miss-a-thing checklist that will keep properties in perfect condition and help property owners feel at ease knowing their house is safe during winter storms.
Start on the Outside
You’ve heard the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that is exactly what SAC-METRO wants property owners to do when conducting a fall property inspection. Look at the house from the outside and judge harshly. Look at every window, roof shingle, rain gutter, downspout, door, sheet of paint, and siding. Look for anything that looks out of place. If a roof shingle is missing, make a note of if to schedule repair. Use a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the roof if you feel uncomfortable using a ladder for access. Inspect the exterior walls or siding of the house and look for any water stains, which might be a sign that water is missing the rain gutter and trickling down the face of the structure. Rocklin property management experts recommend looking for crooked or saggy window casings, rotting wood, or slanting doors and staircases leading to the house. These could all be signs of water damager. Inspect the roof and sides of the house for any small holes in the structure that would allow rodents to enter or water to seep in. Replace any broken screens that should cover crawl spaces underneath the structure. Inspecting the outside of the house includes landscaping. Overgrown trees could pose a threat to the house as it could be an access bridge for animals. Large trees could fall on the roof after a heavy downpour, or even onto nearby power lines. Prune overgrown trees and all foliage. Trimming bushes and trees will allow you to better see and walk around the perimeter of the house, which allows for a more thorough inspection of your house in Rocklin. Property management companies recommend cleaning out any debris from the gutters. Dead leaves and branches can often be found inside rain gutters, which can cause overflowing gutters due to the blockage. Test all access gates and inspect fencing to ensure it is sturdy, functional, and properly installed. Look for cracks or raises in sidewalks and concrete and make repairs as needed to avoid tripping hazards or further lifting. Finally, turn off and remove hoses from the downspout to prevent the house pipes from freezing.
Take a Look Inside
Once you have made detailed notes about your findings on the exterior of the property, walk inside. You should have posted a proper Notice of Entry for your tenants if the property is occupied. This means a minimum of 24 hours notice, though most Rocklin property management firms try to give at least 48 hours notice. Enter from the front door and work your way through the property starting on the main floor. Look at all flooring, walls, windows, doors, cabinets, and countertops for any signs of water damage. Water is a property’s worst enemy. Bubbles or cracks in the paint or wallpaper on the walls is a clear sign of a hot water leak. Buckling and warping of the flooring is also a sign of a water leak. Take pictures of any of these signs. Remember that your lease agreement should require that tenants report any needs of maintenance immediately. This is to protect them and property owners. If a leak goes unreported or unnoticed for too long, it can turn a small repair into a big expensive one. Look around the edges of doors and windows. These are generally easy places for water to seep in. Replace caulking and weatherstripping as needed so that windows and doors shut tightly. Doing so will keep water out and prevent cold drafts from the winter temperatures. This in turn gives the furnace a bit of relief during the winter months. A pro tip from Rocklin property management team, SAC-METRO, is to inspect the attic during the day to look for any early warning signs that water, wind or snow could leak in. Turn off the lights and see if you can see daylight through any holes or slits. If you can see daylight, water will find its way inside.
Take a Closer Look with Rocklin Property Management Pro Tips
A leaking roof or window is not the only concern when it comes to water damage. While you have access to the property, take the time and inspect everything. Water heaters, furnace, HVAC units, and all kitchen appliances should be tested and inspected while inside the home. Look around the base of the water heater and check for any rust or cracks that could eventually burst and cause a flood. With the help of a flashlight, shine the light into dark places like the back corner of cabinetry or behind appliances. This is a prime location to find animal droppings. Schedule any pest control as needed. Turn on the water in the kitchen, bathrooms, and flush toilets. Inspect toilet seats and shower doors to ensure they are tightly fastened and will not cause harm to your tenant due to falling off of the track. Turn on the furnace to make certain it is working properly. The last thing Rocklin property managers want is a 3:00am wake up call from a tenant who complains it is 55 degrees inside their home because the furnace failed. Schedule annual maintenance for the furnace before the cold season begins. Furnaces are often powered by gas, so do your due diligence and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. To learn if your alarm is working, follow these instructions, courtesy of EHLERS Heating and Air Conditioning. See that they are properly installed and not removed from the ceiling. Replace batteries if needed. Clean out the dryer vents and remove lint as it as extremely flammable. Taking the extra time to complete these tasks can save landlords from big headaches or lawsuits in the future.
Schedule Maintenance as Needed
Maintenance on a house can be expensive in Rocklin. Property management companies warn landlords to avoid the do-it-yourself approach to save a few dollars. This route often leads to incorrect repair jobs, which then means a landlord needs to hire a professional anyway. Save yourself the time, money and liability and hire a professional licensed and insured maintenance technician. Notice that liability was listed above. If a landlord does a DIY job and it ends up causing harm to the tenant, the landlord can expect hefty legal fees coming his or her way. Licensing or registration of a business or maintenance technician protects the property owner by helping ensure that contractors meet the minimum insurance requirements. Using an unlicensed contractor can cost you in a number of ways.
How Rocklin Property Management Company, SAC-METRO, Can Help You
With nearly 30 years of experience, we are certain that we can help you with any property management needs. If you are in need of property management, rental property inspections, leasing, or find yourself with long vacancy times, give the experts at SAC-METRO a call.