Spring is just around the corner, and as the winter chill gives way to the springtime thaw, landlords, property managers, and tenants will begin the annual spring cleaning ritual.
That means reviewing trouble areas left by winter storms, checking for recurring maintenance tasks, and making sure that your rental property is welcoming for current tenants as well as potential new renters. Good property maintenance practices can take advantage of the season’s natural and protect the owner’s investment over the long term.
Step 1: Clean exterior areas
Determine which areas will benefit from a good power washing to rinse away winter’s residual grime. Spring is the best time for power washing exterior walls, walkways, patios, etc. before water restrictions become an issue in the summer months.
After power washing, check for any chipped, peeling, or cracked paint and touch up those areas as needed. Exposed siding can be vulnerable to rot. Protect these areas with a fresh coat of paint if needed.
Step 2: Minimize Moisture:
Early spring is the best time to remind tenants to check for and report any mold buildup left from winter moisture. Heavy rains can leave puddles or dampness in basements and attics, which can increase interior humidity resulting in mold buildup on wall surfaces. Small puddles should be addressed as quickly as possible. It may be smart to install or rent a dehumidifier to avoid mildew development. If you or a leak notice a leak that has caused mold to penetrate a unit’s structure, hire a professional mold abatement company to address the problem. Make sure you are fully aware of your responsibilities regarding mold development in a rental unit.
Step 3: Clear the Gutters:
It is important to clean gutters both before and after wet seasons. Those winter winds can leave debris that can become trapped in gutters causing leaks that can lead to costly damage to the roof and interior of the home. Pay careful attention to the downspout, ensuring that all leaves, gunk, and debris are cleaned out to avoid water buildup in the gutters. If your downspout’s gooseneck is clogged, use a hose to force out the offending materials. If you discover that the debris is too difficult to remove, consider hiring an expert to clear the gutters.
Step 4: Have the HVAC Inspected:
Make sure to have your property’s heating and air conditioning system inspected, serviced and cleaned at least once a year, and spring is the ideal time to have this chore done. The winter chill usually means that tenants are working the heating system hard. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your HVAC system and help you avoid expensive repairs or unit replacement. Provide your tenants with extra filters and remind them to change their air filters regularly. These simple and inexpensive maintenance tasks that can prevent major HVAC problems down the road.
Step 5: Landscape Management:
Take advantage of spring’s beautiful floral bloom season to increase curb appeal and please your tenants’ aesthetic sensibilities with fresh landscaping. Spring is the best time for chores such as lawn aeration, seeding, fertilization, and pruning shrubs or trees. Early spring is the ideal time for pruning flowering trees and fruit trees that will soon begin budding. Spring planting is a low-maintenance option for adding vibrancy to your landscape. Mowing and weeding grassy areas on your property now help ensure that your landscaping crew can stay ahead of sudden growth that occurs once the weather warms up.
Spring is also the best time for annual landscaping that really makes the outdoor areas of your property inviting. When tenants begin to venture outside for a dose of sunshine, it’s important to make sure that limbs and other debris left behind after winter storms are cleared away to avoid accidents. Shrubs and branches 5- to 7 feet from the property’s exterior walls should be cleared to ensure that no moisture in conducted to your roofing and siding. This step also discourages squirrels and raccoons from seeking an easy path to potential nests in your attic.
Spring maintenance can be a real chore, but it is critical to properly caring for your investment property. Routine seasonal maintenance helps keep your property looking good, helps you identify potential trouble areas, keep your tenants happy, and helps attract new tenants, keeping your vacancy rates low.
RentVest Property Management offers customer-centric property management services to property owners in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Hawaii, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Tucson, Reno, San Antonio, and Vancouver. To learn more about our full-service property management benefits, visit the RentVest website.