8 Rental Maintenance Tips for the Autumn Season
1. No need for those AC Units!
Once it starts to cool off, put your AC units away to extend their life. If you have window units, pull them out of the windows for storage. Outside units should be covered with a tarp.
2. Prep your Heating System
- Keep the heat on! Tools like smart thermostats can be a great way to monitor in-home climate remotely.
- Confirm vents are open and not blocked by furniture or clutter. Move obstacles that may be in the way of airflow from the vent.
- Check for leaks in windows or doors.
- Service the furnace every couple of years.
- Check the fireplaces and service them, if needed.
- Clean the chimney.
3. Animal Proofing
With the colder weather, animals often seek refuge in a warm attic or basement. Check if critters have tried to gain access, look for signs of termites, and/or any other bugs. Seal small holes and cracks around the exterior with caulk, and larger holes with hardware cloth.
Pro tip! Mice and other animals tend to enter near water pipes. For example, underneath a bathroom sink. Check these places and if you see a hole, fill it with aluminum or some other material that will prevent them from accessing this point of entry into your living space.
4. Adjust Watering Needs
- Be sure to clear and properly store hoses.
- Set your sprinklers to winter mode, or reduce the frequency of watering to conserve water.
5. Check for Cracks
Make sure that the foundation, driveway and surrounding area is free of large cracks. Unaddressed cracks can allow water to get into the foundation and cause further damage.
6. Clean Roof and Gutters
The problem with gutters is the typical saying "out of sight, out of mind." If you have flat rooftops, then debris and tree trimmings get stuck more frequently. And, if you have new shingles, they tend to lose a lot of grit and require gutters to be cleaned shortly afterward.
Take a look at the roof from the street. Are there obvious signs of fallen branches, gutters detaching, damaged roof, missing shingles, downed power lines, or any other potential problems?
You will want a roof or gutter professional to help with the following:
- Eliminate debris and tree trimmings that get stuck
- Clear out stray branches
- Use long screws to attach new gutters, NOT nails (which will detach)
- Do not blow off the debris (it will make a mess)
Fun fact: The majority of gutter guards fail. It is typically because installing gutter guards promotes negligence, as they still require maintenance. In addition, rust holes may appear from using them. If you use gutter guards, then make sure that they have fine mesh.
7. Dryer Check
Be sure to frequently empty the lint trap on your dryer to ensure it is working properly . Every six months you should also remove any built up lint from the dryer vent duct. Built up lint in the dryer vent can make your clothes take longer to dry and possibly cause a fire. To clear the vent follow these steps:
- Unplug or turn off the gas to the dryer
- Pull the dyer away from the wall and disconnect the duct
- Vacuum out the the excess lint in the back of the dryer and the outdoor vent hood
- Check the ducts for any damage and put the ducts back in place
8. Prep for the Winter
If you live in areas that have freezing, be sure to be prepared before the first freeze and have these items on hand:
- Sidewalk salt
- Ice Scraper