Winter brings about a plethora of problems not just for humans, but for nature, structures and all things man-made, including rental properties. Freezing damage in pipes is one example of what might happen if you don’t take care of your investment. You should understand that, regardless of the fact that you can’t control winter, there is plenty you can do to protect your property.
1. Make Sure To Cover Outside Appliances
When talking about sheltering outside appliances from the ice and snow, it almost goes without saying that any external appliances, such as central air conditioners, for example, need to be sufficiently covered and tucked in. Coupled with strong winter winds, snow can easily make its way into the internal components of such items, where it can accumulate and then melt, causing partial or complete damage.
2. Make Sure To Clean Snow From Decks And Roofs
When it comes to Waterloo Property Management, it is important to note that cleaning snow off the roof is not necessary after every single major snowfall. On the other hand, keep in mind that there is a tipping point at which the amount of snow on a roof becomes an immediate threat for not only causing damage but more importantly, collapsing. On most roofs, two feet of old snow coupled with another two feet of new snow on top represents an immediate snow load hazard. The same applies to decks: they can withstand much less weight than roofs, so keep them clear – this is most easily done by sprinkling some salt on a deck before a major snowstorm.
3. Make Sure To Keep Water Pipes Warm
Probably the best way to go about this is to create a clause in your lease agreement designed to ensure that tenants keep the heat on if they’re going away for a period of time. If they want to save some money (if they are paying for utilities), you can assure them that turning down the thermostat to 12 degrees Celsius will be enough to keep the frost away from the pipes. Similarly, if you have any pipes running through a space that’s not heated, high-quality pipe insulation is the way to go.
4. Make Sure To Keep Sidewalks And Walkways Clear
According to Waterloo Property Management and because it’s covered under the Residential Tenancies Act, snow clearing is a somewhat troublesome grey area, legally speaking. Snow clearing is important not only to protect your tenants and yourself from a slip-and-fall liability but also because snow melts causing water to seep into the foundation. Your safest bet here is to clearly and precisely state the responsibilities for clearing snow in your lease agreement. However, if your tenant isn’t clearing the sidewalks and walkways, unfortunately, you’re the one who’s ultimately going to have to assume responsibility for it.