If you’re a landlord in a region that experiences harsh winters like Kansas City, you have to be prepared to protect your property in the event of a damaging winter storm. Although a winter storm can definitely sneak up on your area, you should still pay close attention to your local forecast so that you’re ready to act before a winter storm moves in and damages your rental property.
Though you can’t stop a winter storm from happening, there are still some steps you can take to best prepare your rental property for a winter storm. Read our tips for winter storm property preparations below.
How to Prepare Your Rental Property for a Winter Storm
Check Your Trees
When a winter storm rolls through town, it’s sure to leave snow or ice in its wake. To prevent rental property damage caused by fallen branches or trees, check for any low-hanging branches that will be vulnerable to heavy layers of ice or snow. Also consider hiring a landscaper to cut back large branches that hang over your roof or near windows, as these could damage your rental or even seriously injure a tenant if they fall over in a winter storm.
Check Your Roof
Speaking of the roof, be sure that it’s leak-free before the winter storm arrives. This will save you from costly water damage and mild issues. You should also consult a contractor to ensure that your roof is structurally sound and prepared to shoulder the weight of snow and ice should a winter storm hit.
Check Your Heating System
The last thing you want during a winter storm is a frantic call from your tenant saying their heat isn’t working. Getting a repair in a winter storm will be difficult and costly due to high demand and hazardous travel conditions. Before the winter storm arrives, be sure to have your boiler or furnace inspected to ensure that it’s running in tip-top shape.
Even if you completed gutter cleaning in the fall as we suggested in our outdoor maintenance tips to prepare for winter, it’s still a good idea to check for gutter obstructions before a big winter storm. Leaves and other blockages can lead to rotted shingles and siding, water damage, and leaking roofs. Avoid costly damage and make sure your gutters are equipped for the winter storm to come!
Ensure Proper Insulation
Before the first winter storm of the season arrives, double check your rental property’s insulation, particularly in attics and basements that can contribute to energy loss when temperatures drop. Also provide proper pipe insulation to prevent them from bursting during a cold winter storm. You can find pipe insulation supplies at your local hardware store. Another tip for preventing winter storm pipe damage? Let your tenants know to leave their faucets on at a low drip for the duration of the winter storm — this will help prevent freezing.
Inform Your Tenants
Keeping your tenants informed about the winter storm is also key. National Property Management will have reminded them about stocking up on food and emergency supplies, and suggest that they limit travel if the winter storm makes roads hazardous. Give them the above tip about leaving their water on to prevent pipes from bursting in a winter storm, and let them know about the maintenance you’ve already done to prevent winter storm damage to the property. They also have an emergency contact number to use during the winter storm.
Lastly, you want your tenants to know how property maintenance will be handled during the winter storm. For example, if you own an apartment complex you should tell your tenants whether you will shovel and salt the walkways and if or when the parking lot will be cleared. If you are the landlord for a rental house with National Property Management, rest assured your tenants know shoveling the drive and sidewalks after a winter storm is their responsibility.
Are you a Kansas City landlord who needs assistance when it comes to handling your rental property and preparing it for a winter storm? Call National Property Management Group at (913) 766-2302 for winter storm preparation and other landlord advice.