At CHARLESGATE, we take a proactive approach to management and when it comes to dealing with winter weather, there’s really no other way to do it. Being proactive is essential if you hope to avoid late-night calls and expensive bills that stem from typical winter weather issues.
Our biggest recommendation is to establish a fall walkthrough at your property. Review major systems not only for the building, but for individual units as well. This allows you to get a closer look and ensure you’re ahead of any issues that’ll lead to a service call. It also has the added benefit of reducing the number of emergency calls which lead to higher owner expenses. We utilize a multipoint checklist to make sure no stone goes unturned and no pipe goes unchecked. When it comes to checking your property, there are three key things that should be inspected:
- Heating Systems: The “my heat is out” call always seems to come in the overnight hours and on weekends. These often expensive calls can be avoided by doing a thorough check of all building heating systems before usage increases in the colder months.
- Windows: Checking windows to ensure they close and lock properly is critical. Often tenants report no heat or a lack of heat and the system is working fine, but the window may be slightly open. Windows are the main source of heat loss. Do a unit by unit walkthrough to double check all windows are closing and locking properly. Communicating with tenants about their windows specifically is also essential. Send seasonal reminders to tenants about closing and locking windows to prevent heat loss. You’ll not only conserve energy, you’ll also reduce calls and associated costs.
- Pipes: Ensuring pipes along exterior walls are insulated can reduce heating costs for water and reduce issues with frozen pipes. However, on extremely cold weather days, communication with tenants is of the utmost importance. Something as simple as leaving cabinet doors below vanities and kitchen sinks open and leaving the water on a low, slow drip, can prevent pipes from freezing.
Unfortunately, when it comes to winter weather issues, nothing beats being prepared. Having a strong plan in place both inside and outside your rental property is essential if you want to avoid costly expenses and frustrated tenants. If you’re struggling with proactive property management, let our team of experts help. With decades of experience in properties of all sizes and ages, there’s nothing we haven’t seen before.