Fall is the time when you should be thinking about whether your income property needs any upgrading or fixes before the snow arrives. The cold weather is coming soon, so a lot of properties will need some attention. Also, remember to raccoon proof your property as best as you can. Be mindful of any areas like garages or crawl spaces where critters can squeeze themselves into.
8 things to do each fall to prepare your investment property for winter:
1. Replace your furnace filter before you turn on the heat for the first time.
2. Once you have turned off your air conditioner, give the exterior unit a good cleaning and make sure that that no leaves have fallen into the fan area. If you have a cover, put that on.
3. Inspect the roof visually from the ground if possible – if you must go onto the roof, wear a safety harness or hire a contractor. Check the flashings around skylights, pipes and the chimney. Also, look for any loose or missing shingle.
4. Regularly clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Dirty eaves can cause problems if water freezes in them over the winter.
5. Clean windows and window tracks, and make sure weep holes are not blocked (including sliding door tracks – lubricate openers and track rollers with silicone spray).
6. Turn off the exterior water supply to prevent pipe freezing.
7. Test all ground fault circuit interrupters in your washrooms, kitchens, outside receptacles and on the electrical panel.
8. Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Remember that if you keep your investment property in a good state of repair, you will be providing a much better experience for you tenants and preserving the value of your real estate investment.