Routine maintenance can save you bundles
If you really want to get the most value out of your home rental, there is no greater method to doing so than keeping up on routine maintenance. If you do the regular stuff religiously, you will save a bundle down the road. All too often, some home rental owners pay attention to their rentals only when something goes wrong and breaks. It shouldn’t be this way and for wise home rental owners, it never is.
The idea is to inspect the plumbing routinely before you have a major problem which can cost big bucks. Oftentimes, you can fix a simple, inexpensive long before it requires the help of an expensive professional. Along those lines, we present some useful tips for keeping your Home Rental in tiptop shape throughout the years of your ownership. It is essential to know what do and how often so we present this list according to the frequency such maintenance should be completed. Enjoy.
Check the water heater
Drain two gallons of water from water heater to remove sediment from the bottom of tank. Replace carbon cartridge of water filter. Make sure that the hot water tank is properly vented. They give off carbon monoxide so this would be a good place to install a detector.
Test smoke alarms
Test with a smoke source by lighting a cigarette or cotton cord held 3 inches from unit. To reduce alarm time during test, blow into the unit to clear the smoke out. Always keep a fresh supply of batteries handy.
Inspect fire extinguisher
During winter season, inspect the chimney for creosote buildup. Clean with chimney brushes or scrapers to remove the creosote. Clean stovepipe between the stove and the chimney. Check stovepipe for corrosion and holes, and replace if necessary. Call a professional if you see some major problems you might not be able to handle.
Vacuum electric elements on baseboards and keep them as clean as possible. Inspect plates or pads in humidifier, and clean with a strong laundry detergent. Rinse, and then scrape mineral deposits with a wire brush or steel wool to keep them clean. Pay attention to areas that are often hidden by furniture. This is where you might find problems building up over time.
Clean forced hot-air heating and or cooling system's air filter to prevent airborne dirt from circulating throughout house. If you have a metal one, remove and wash the filter. If have the disposable kind, vacuum it once then replace.
Electrical panel and circuits
Call an electrician if fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently. Chances are you have inadequate circuitry, which might be overloaded from too many appliances tapping in. Do you even know if you have enough power to tap into from the electrical service panel? You are best to ask a qualified electrician.
Check attic fans
If you have an attic fan, remove leaves and debris from louvers and louver pivots. Be sure to clean fan blades. Lubricate the motor and pulley bearings with a drop of oil or silicon spray on each pivot and oil port.
Verify the drive belt works properly and replace if the sides are glazed smooth and the belt seems to slip. Also, be sure to check belt tension. Ideally, it should deflect 1/2 of an inch when pressed in middle with your finger (not running of course). Replace the belt if necessary.
Turn off gas heaters
Shut off your gas heaters then check the exhaust vent and air shutter openings for dirt and dust and other clogs. Clean the burner of lint and dirt and vacuum the air passages to burner to ensure unobstructed flow.
Inspect heating system fan belt
Inspect your heating system's fan belt for ragged or worn spots, and check the belt tension. Keep a spare belt on hand and install it if the current belt dropping more than ¾ of an inch.
Clear gutters and downspouts
Remove debris from gutters and downspouts. Use wire snake for elbows and other difficult turns. Check gutter and downspout alignment to be sure rainwater is collected properly and drains away from house. Be sure mountings are secure.
Touch up paint on worn areas on gutters. Don’t forget about the downspouts either. Repair all the caulk holes. Replace any sections that have holes or excessive rust on them.
Check storm windows
Check latches and pivots on storm windows for loose connections or signs of wear. Replace loose or worn parts. Make sure "weep hole" at bottom of metal windows is clear.
Check around house to be sure water drains away from it on all sides. In particular, check inside and outside foundation walls and piers for termite tubes and damaged wood. Examine inside of foundation walls for dampness or water stain, which indicates seepage or a leak at the foundation level.
Other spring tasks
Every Three Years and more
Things that can happen if you neglect your home
There are a lot of nasty things that can happen to your home rental over time, if you don’t do the proper maintenance. For instance, roof shingles not replaced in time can cause water damage to the underlying plywood. This can result in a very costly repair.
If you don’t clean your gutters regularly, debris can back up and clog your drains. They no longer do their job. This causes more water damage plus you normally will have a much more expensive bill to have a professional run a snake or camera in your drains to see where the problem is located.
Unpainted siding left unprotected becomes warped and cracked over time. Again, water may reach the plywood underneath the siding. Usually the siding is so ruined it will never look good and you have to pay to the whole thing redone.
Remember that insufficient caulking or caulking that has broken down is tantamount to water damage, both inside and outside the home. Sub flooring and the foundation of your home may be compromised.
Overgrown foliage touching your house provides secret tunnels for insects to invade your home. Large trees planted too near your home will spread their roots through your drainage pipes (not covered by insurance) and push up sidewalks and foundations. In some areas, not spraying your foliage leads to ugly gray scales on the branches, that you can never get rid of. Neglected lawns turn into nothing but weeds and moss. Often they have to be totally stripped and replanted.
Water Damage and Insect infestation are the biggest consequences of neglecting your home. One leads to another, as insects love wet, rotting wood. Termites and carpenter ants can destroy your home.
Home ownership is a big responsibility. While you own it, that home is under your stewardship and you are its chief caretaker, not your tenants. Like all things, it's better to leave it better than you found it. Keep up with your home rental so that it doesn't become an overwhelming job to fix it up at any one point.
You may not have to replace all the shingles on your roof. Sometimes you can just patch it. You can spray for pests yourself. You can just paint the south side of your home, which usually takes the biggest beating, and so forth.
You can keep the costs as low as possible by doing most of it yourself. There is nothing wrong with taking shortcuts but you can’t cut corners on your regular maintenance if you want your home rental to provide a continuous and profitable return on your investment.