Fall is finally here, bringing with it cooler and more unpredictable weather, sweaters, pumpkin spice, and signs that old man winter is on his way. Autumn provides property owners with the perfect opportunity to get things done before snow hits the ground, offering up more than enough beautiful days to complete your winter checklist. Before the snow arrives, Toronto property owners will want to ensure that they take proactive measures to get their properties in tip top shape for the upcoming cold season.
Outdoor home maintenance and inspection
The best place to start with your annual fall and winter home preparation is outdoors, especially while the weather is relatively mild and the snow has yet to land. The first step to take in preparing your home for the upcoming fall and winter season is to perform any necessary maintenance on the trees surrounding your property – high winds throughout the fall and winter can cause tree branches to fall onto your property, doing damage to your roof and the exterior of your home. While you can’t prevent a tree from falling over, checking for potentially problematic branches that are hanging directly over the roof or your property may save you a major headache during the winter.
If your property contains air conditioning or HVAC units, this will also be the perfect opportunity to winterize them if necessary. Not only will this help to extend the lifespan of these units, but it will ensure that they are not damaged by the elements throughout the winter and help to minimize potential drafts into the property. Cleaning gutters and checking to ensure proper drainage will help to prolong the life of your roof and minimize potential damages caused by buildup and subsequent flooding. Lastly, you’ll want to inspect your property’s roof and exterior to ensure that any damages are addressed before the coming rain, snow, and winter cold have a chance to worsen them.
Indoor home maintenance and inspection
Indoor maintenance can be taken care of after your exterior inspections and repairs have been done, but are just as important. There’s a good chance that your tenants will be using their heating system as early as October, so it’s crucial for property owners to ensure that these systems are up and running before this time. Most homeowners will want to contact an expert who can ensure that heating systems are working as they should be, and to clean and clear filters and vents so that your tenants don’t find themselves without heat during the winter months. This also includes your property’s hot water tank – this should be inspected and repaired if necessary to ensure that tenants have access to hot water all year long.
After you’ve made sure that your heating systems are performing as they should be, you’ll want to ensure that the heat generated by your home’s furnace is actually keeping the house warm, and not being lost to drafts in windows and doors. Checking for drafts and air leaks in doors, windows, and other areas of your home will help you be proactive about sealing or replacing them – this will save you or your tenant’s money on utilities throughout the fall and winter months, and will ensure that all the work done on heating systems won’t have been for naught. While you’re hunting for drafts, remember to test fire and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the house.
Winter is also a prime season for house fires, so proactive measures should always be taken to adequately prepare tenants for worst case scenarios. Fire and carbon monoxide alarms should be found on all floors of the home, generally placed outside of bedrooms for maximum effect. Make sure to change batteries in these alarms, and to test them before setting them.
For more information about the property management and realty services offered by the experienced team at Highgate Properties, contact us today.