This is a fall season guide to provide you with a headache-free winter.
1. Store the AC Units
If you have window units, pull them out of the windows for storage. Outside units should be covered with a tarp. And if you are fortunate enough to have central heating, these units require less maintenance.
2. Flush the Hot Water
Flushing the hot water will remove any sediment building up and extend the life of your heater. In order to flush the heater:
- Turn off the hot water thermostat
- Turn off the gas to the water heater
- Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater
- Turn ON the hot water in a sink
- Open the pressure relief valve
- Connect a hose to the drain spigot or place a bucket underneath
- Drain the water
- Turn on the cold water to the water heater to flush it out.
- Make sure to relight the pilot light once you turn back on the gas.
3. Prepare the 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, such as boxes. 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 it, if needed
- Clean the chimney
Check if critters have tried to gain access, look for signs of termites, and/or any other bugs. Seal all holes and cracks around the exterior to prevent them from getting access into the rental.
5. Flush and turn off outdoor water systems
- Check to flush and store water hoses
- Set your sprinklers to winter mode if you have them.
6. Check for Cracks
Make sure that the foundation, driveway and surrounding area is free of large cracks. This can cause water to get in and freeze which enlarges the crack and cause future damage.
7. Roof and Gutter Cleaning
The problem with gutters is the typical saying "out of sight, out of mind." If you have flat roof tops, then debris and tree trimmings get stuck more frequently. And, if you have new singles, they tend to lose a lot of grit and require gutters to be cleaned shortly afterwards.
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 problems?
You will want a roof or gutter professionals to help with the following:
- Eliminate debris and tree trimming 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)
8. Should I consider gutter guards?
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 insist on using gutter guards, then make sure that they have fine mesh.
9. Buy gear for the winter
Purchase the items you may need depending on your area:
- Sidewalk salt
Disclaimer: This is a general checklist for what we believe to be general items to check in on and clean throughout the fall season. We do not claim to have a complete list nor does this constitute a full sum of items needed to be repaired or maintained. Your specific property may have needs that exceed or expand on this list, and for these instances, it is up to you to decide what is best for your property.