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How To Get Your Property Ready For Winter

Hello, property and potential property owners! Welcome to the RPM Distinguished Care blog, where we provide practical advice about property management! If you’re a return visitor, welcome back. We sincerely appreciate your support! RPM Distinguished Care specializes in managing successful rental properties in and around the Charleston area. We’re here to make your lives easier by giving you the resources you need to maximize profitability and have a successful rental property. We provide comprehensive property management services at every possible level. From advertising and marketing to responding to applications, to inspecting and maintaining properties–there’s nothing we do not do. Further, we ensure tenant compliance, handle necessary evictions, and report directly back to you about revenue and profit potentials. We aim to make owning rental property as easy for you as possible, for as little money as possible. Check out the rest of our site to meet our team and discover what makes RPM Distinguished Care the best property management company in Charleston!


In our last post, we talked about some terms that should be included in your lease. A lease is a legal contract between a tenant and their landlord. It outlines the terms which the tenant agrees to in order to rent a property for a certain period of time. The terms and agreements of a lease are generally expectations between landlord and tenant. A strong, well-worded lease is essential to ensure that both parties’ best interests are protected. If you are interested in learning more about what should be included in a lease, be sure to check out our last post, as well as our previous blog on 6 terms that should be included in a lease!


Today, we’ll be discussing how to prepare your rental property for winter! The season of winter is right around the corner, and if you own rental properties, you want to make sure you are prepared. While many states brace for harsh snow storms, thankfully the Mt. Pleasant and Charleston area tend to experience milder winters. However, sometimes the weather can be unpredictable, so you may want to stay one step ahead. If you are interested in learning more about getting your rental property ready for winter, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.


The process of preparing a property for winter is known as winterizing. When temperatures drop, extreme cold can wreak havoc on buildings, causing problems with plumbing, utility systems, and roofing. Although the Charleston area is less likely to see major snowfall or below freezing temperatures, being proactive can save you headaches down the road. This is especially important for vacant properties. Failing to winterize your property can lead to serious and expensive damage.

1. Gutters

Gutters are oftentimes overlooked and may be the last thing on your mind when you think about preparing for winter, which is why we put them first on the list! The truth is, preparing your gutters for winter is important. As we near the end of autumn, your gutters may be full of leaves and other debris. While gutters should be kept clear during any season, it is especially important as winter approaches, because the chance of snow or ice can further clog them. Additionally, this will put extra weight on the gutters, and can cause them to sag, or even detach and fall to the ground. Clear your gutters of any debris and give them a thorough cleaning to ensure that they function properly throughout the winter season. Be sure to pay close attention to corners where leaves or debris tend to accumulate! You should also inspect your gutters for wear and tear, and be sure to seal cracks or replace loose or missing fasteners. 

2. Pipes


The pipes of a building are arguably one of the most important parts. Many pipes carry water or drainage throughout the home, and in colder temperatures, water can freeze. As water freezes, it tends to expand, and this puts pressure on the pipes, which can cause them to break. Even though winters in South Carolina don’t get too frigid, it’s still a good idea to winterize your pipes– No one wants to deal with bursting pipes! Protect outdoor pipes by wrapping them in outdoor faucet covers. Be sure to detach any garden hoses and cover outdoor spigots. You should drain all of the water from any outdoor hookups before covering them or putting them away for the season. You may also opt to turn off the outdoor water supply for the winter months. For interior pipes, any uninsulated pipes should be wrapped in foam insulation. This is generally inexpensive. If you feel necessary, you can also have a plumber inspect the pipes for any potential leaks or damage.


3. Roof


It is always a good idea to do a roof inspection before the winter weather hits. The roof is an extremely important part of your home, and problems with the roof can lead to a longer list of issues. A good time for a quick inspection is while you are on a ladder to clear the gutters– Look for anything out of place visually, such as loose, missing, curled or buckled shingles, signs of leaks, and loss of granule. Be sure to clean debris off of the roof as well, as it can collect moisture and put your home at risk for mold or rotting. It is also a good idea to get your roof inspected periodically (usually once per year) by a professional. 


4. Temperature


Ideally, you want the inside of your rental property to be a good temperature– A general rule of thumb is that a home should not be below 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, as this can lead to issues with plumbing. Although not necessary, you may want to consider sending an email or notice to tenants to remind them not to let their indoor temperature drop below 55 degrees, especially if they plan on going out of town. Additionally, if you have vacant properties, it may be a good idea to leave the heat on as well, following the same guidelines. It is not necessary, though– As long as you properly winterize the property. 


Along the lines of temperature, you will also want to make sure that HVAC systems are working properly prior to the winter season. This is something that you can do, or you can encourage your tenants to check the HVAC or remind them to replace filters as necessary. Ideally, you should check your HVAC systems at least once per year, and the best time to inspect an HVAC system is in the fall, before the colder weather comes in. This can identify potential issues and get them taken care of, so that your tenant doesn’t need to call you down the road with an emergency. 


As you can see, these are just a few tips for landlords or property managers to get rental properties prepared for the winter months! We hope you found this article helpful. If you are a rental property owner looking for assistance in managing your property, feel free to reach out to us! RPM Distinguished Care specializes in residential property management and offers a range of services including communication, marketing, and advertising, thorough tenant screening and selection, full-service leasing, timely rent collection, regular evaluations, cost-effective and reliable maintenance, strict and compliant evictions, and comprehensive accounting. We utilize an online portal for owners to keep track of their property, including access to reports and financial statements. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to keep your property at its best. We believe in full-service and comprehensive property management. That’s why we take the time to understand each of our clients and help identify their most closely-held goals. Let us give you peace of mind that your property is in good hands. Use our website to request your free assessment and meet with our expert team! Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope to hear from you soon! See you next time!


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