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Dethatching and Other Fall To-Do Items

Autumn carries with it a lengthy list of exterior property maintenance items. To prepare your John Island rental property’s yard and exterior for winter, you can examine the lawn and determine whether it needs to be dethatched, leaves cleaned up, and trees and plants made ready to weather the cold temperatures.

a wheelbarrow in an autumn yard

Tenants are already responsible for a lot of the upkeep of a rental home. They do a good majority of the cleaning and maybe a few simple repairs. This is mainly because they live in the house and are directly affected by its condition. However, there are some tasks they shouldn’t do. These tasks may require technical expertise or they may be too risky. When it comes to these items, you and the tenants are better off letting professionals take care of it. Specifically with regards to seasonal yard maintenance, there are certain duties that should not be a tenant’s burden. These sorts of maintenance activities are better off left to the experts who have thorough experience in doing it right and safely.

A rental property’s lawn is a huge factor of the total appeal and value of the home. Frequent lawn maintenance should be a priority for both you and your tenant, as should other seasonal lawn maintenance tasks such as aerating and dethatching. As a lawn ages, the soil underneath will be compacted with dead grass and other debris. This collected material is called thatch. While a healthy lawn will benefit from a little bit of organic material, when thatch builds up too much it can block water and essential nutrients from penetrating the ground and reaching the roots of your grass. This can cause the lawn to turn brown and stop growing, obviously resulting in a landscaping eyesore. But once you clear away the thatch, you help the grass thicken up and grow stronger— making it less susceptible to disease. Reducing thatch levels also allows more water, air, and nutrients to reach the roots of your plants.

There are two ways to address the thatch problem: dethatching or power raking and aerating. For tiny lawn spaces, it is possible to take out thatch with a dethatching rake. The tines of the rake are formed to bring the thatch upward, loosening it and separating it from the soil. To dethatch a lawn by hand, the lawn should be mowed to half of its normal height and then raked thoroughly. The loosened thatch can then be removed with your next mowing. To aerate a small lawn, you can rent an aerator machine that will remove small plugs of soil.

If you are thinking about doing this task yourself, make absolutely sure that you clearly mark all sprinkler heads or utility lines so you don’t run over and damage them. You’ll also have to follow the instructions very carefully to be certain that the aerator doesn’t damage your lawn in the process. An even further step would be to discuss with professionals who offer these services.

Obviously, if your rental property has a larger yard, these practices will be unrealistic due to how stressful and time-consuming it would be to DIY. You could rent a dethatching or power raking machine to provide assistance with that work, and the same with aerating. As long as you’re mindful not to damage your irrigation system or different sections of the yard. Lawns that have been aerated or dethatched must also be paid close attention during aftercare, or else risk damange. Proper watering and fertilizing are quintessential after a dethatching or aeration, to both protect your lawn and encourage the roots to grow.

Although your tenant may be skilled, it is not a good idea to expect them to perform dethatching or aeration on your property’s lawn. Just in case they don’t do a very good job or just end up being plain clueless, they could potentially cause extensive damage to your rental home’s yard, irrigation system, and even septic or other utility lines. The equipment required to perform these maintenance tasks is not what most tenants have on hand or will have much prior experience with, largely raising the probability that something will go bad and that they could even hurt themselves in the process.

Placing your tenant’s safety at risk is never a great idea, as it could lead to liability you do not want to deal with. You could perform lawn maintenance on your property yourself, but depending on the size of your rental home’s lawn, you might consider hiring a professional company to come in and perform these important lawn maintenance tasks for you.

Rather than spending your time on seasonal maintenance tasks, consider the benefits of hiring Real Property Management Distinguished Care to handle them for you. As the saying goes: time is money. It’s true for real estate investors as well. Free up your time by choosing us to look after your rental property for you. Our property maintenance services will be sure that important seasonal tasks are being performed on schedule and appropriately, keeping your John Island rental property in good shape year-round. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 843-225-7354 today.

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