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From Our Sponsors: Prepare Investment Properties for Winter Weather

By July 14, 2021February 1st, 2023No Comments

National REIA
By Cameron Mickey, Senior National PRO Manager, The Home Depot

Every smart property owner knows how important it is to protect their investments, especially from damage due to harsh winter weather. Whether you are gearing up for the winter months ahead or have already experienced your first snowfall, you need to make sure your property is prepared. Here are a few tips to reduce power bills and ensure protection on investment properties to make life easier during the winter months.

Avoid water damage
Check pipes at your properties to ensure they are insulated and not showing any gaps. In addition to reducing the frequency of burst pipes, insulation also reduces heat loss and prevents moisture buildup during warmer months. If a pipe does rupture, new quick-repair products from brands like SharkBite can speed up repairs and minimize damage if plumbers aren’t immediately available.

Make a conscious effort to observe areas prone to water damage. If leaks are caught in a timely manner, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs. Install Wi-Fi connected water-sensing devices so you and your tenants can track leaks in real time. Water leak detectors can also alert you to temperatures that may freeze pipes and humidity that could cause long-term damage.

Another important step in winterization your investment property is to clean gutters periodically. Incorrectly channeled water can cause severe damage over time, including to the foundation and sheetrock inside. If it is not immediately addressed, water damage can also lead to mold growth, which is a health hazard to tenants.

Also, be sure that your “top” weather barrier is in mint condition. Inspect the roof, soffits and fascia boards of your property and check for damage to shingles, nail pops and wood rot.

Keep drafts out
Inspect doors, windows and siding for cracks and holes on your property. Weather stripping and caulking are easy solutions to fill air seals and insulate small gaps. Adding weather seal to doors is a great way to keep the cold air flow out by blocking drafts and dust. Drafts can significantly increase utility bills, so let tenants know how to identify a problem and tell them to alert you for needed repairs.
Installing attic insulation is a project that pays for itself and is a simple space to improve the comfort and energy efficiency during colder months. Update your property by adding additional insulation with an easy-to-use system that will help significantly reduce heat loss.

Monitor with smart technology
Installing programmable thermostats helps save money all year long. Wi-Fi enabled thermostats offer a handy experience by letting owners and tenants control the temperature from their smartphones. Smart thermostats can also learn resident patterns and be programmed to send updates on extreme temperature alerts and filter changes. These updates will help you make your investment property modern and sustainable, which will impact the bottom dollar in the long run.

Stock up on snow removal tools
Check your snow removal machinery and make sure it is working properly before winter weather hits. If the blower is outdated or having difficulties, invest in a new one like the EGO 56 Volt Snow Blower, which is quiet and will avoid bothering tenants and neighbors. Also, stock up on snow removal products such as salt and ice melt early in the season as store supplies run low as well as a sturdy and ergonomic shovel to keep walkways safe.

It is imperative to do inspections on your investments regularly. Check for leaks, cracks or insulation problems now, because once winter weather arrives, property maintenance can be challenging and expensive to fix.

By Cameron Mickey, Senior National PRO Manager, The Home Depot
Cameron is responsible for managing The Home Depot’s national accounts and oversees the business-to-business relationships with partners in property management, property investment, specialty restoration, government and e-commerce. During his 28 years with The Home Depot, Cameron has held a variety of roles including director of capital projects, capital projects manager and store manager. 

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