We’ve officially entered cooler temps in Chi-town, which means that our favorite season (winter) is a second away. As property owners or managers, getting ready for winter can seem like a big undertaking, whether you’re occupying your space or renting it out. How can you make sure you’ve got everything covered before that first wild ride of a snowstorm hits, affecting you and your tenants?
Fixer’s ready to help with a few of these winterizing tips.
Outside of the property
Check around the outside of the home. You want to make sure your gutters are cleaned out and completely cleared of fallen leaves or other debris; when the snow hits - and melts - your drains are going to need a clear pathway to avoid water or moisture from seeping into your home.
Have an outdoor faucet? It’s time to drain, shut off, then cover the exterior valves. Doing so can prevent pipes from bursting or freezing, which is critical in the thick of winter.
Have any outdoor patio or appliances still out from the last vestiges of warmer weather or outdoor fire-pit nights? It’s time those get covered up and stored too.
Before it gets cold and icy, it’s a great time to think about installing anti-slip tape to your outdoor stairs, too. Protect yourself and your tenants by avoiding any unnecessary slip and falls. Test the outdoor lighting to make sure visibility is clear, especially during icy nights.
Inside the home, apartment, or condo
Feel any cold drafts anywhere inside the property? You’ll want to investigate those before it gets too cold, especially if you’re leaving town for the winter or you have a space that is remaining otherwise unoccupied. Fixer offers weather-stripping and insulation remedies to save on energy costs including applying window film to keep heat in (great for apartments!), apply temporary caulking around the window frames to block those wind gusts, or we can fully switch out your window screens to accomodate for storm screens instead.
Another place you might feel air leaks is underneath doors. If the door isn’t properly flush with its jamb, we can:
Add weather stripping along the door frame to fill in the gap
Install a door sweep if the problem is the bottom of the doorway to block out the air draft
Install a new door to fit (after installing and/or fixing well over 1200 doors, you could say we’re door experts). If you just need your screen door replaced with a storm door instead, we can do that too!
A note on leaving properties vacant over winter
Occasionally, as a property manager, you might have to deal with a vacant property over the winter. What can you do to prepare for that? One crucial step is to maintain an internal temp between 50-60 degrees. This helps you avoid any unexpected freezing or flooding from pipes and also prevents the space from becoming so warm and humid that your walls warp. A smart thermostat makes it simple to keep the thermostat exactly at the temperature you need it even when you’re away.
The other area you want to make sure you focus on is water control. For pipes that are in danger of freezing over below zero temperature nights, make sure that (if you’re not draining the pipes completely), you let the faucets trickle a bit to keep water flowing. There’s nothing worse (and more costly) than entering an area that’s been flooded – especially when it could have been avoided.
Need help to beat those winter blues? Feel free to take advantage of our winterization consultation, and together, we can protect your home or vacant property from the chaos winter tends to bring.