Winston Churchill once said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” If that’s the case, then DC weather must be nearly perfect! With the way the weather and seasons change, it can be hard to keep up with property maintenance.
However, to be an effective landlord, you need to progress toward perfection by changing as well—particularly the maintenance you have done on your properties for each season. When done right, seasonal maintenance can help you save both time and money. You can also cushion some of the expense by spreading out the costs over the course of the year. When it comes to offering one of the best places to rent in Washington DC, your seasonal maintenance matters!
Self-managing seasonal maintenance is a big challenge for many landlords, so they often choose to employ the services of a property management company in the DC area to keep up with upkeep. If you choose to have professionals manage your properties, you’re making a sound decision.
However, you need to first check to make sure the company you’re interested in does the right kind of seasonal maintenance. What each company does is going to vary, and when in doubt, you can always inquire regarding why they take the steps they do. Whether you have someone else take care of it for you, or you DIY when it comes to seasonal maintenance, here are some things you may want to keep in mind from the Professional Landlords at Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA.
The spring thaw is a great time for the Washington DC area: the ground softens up in time for kids to go out and play, and some of the most beautiful blossoms decorate the DC landscape. But there are side effects to the spring weather that require some careful forethought.
Some elements of a home can absorb moisture, particularly on the outside. When these freeze, the shape of certain parts of the building, particularly openings, changes slightly. Even a well-built home may suffer from warped, misshapen, loose, or damaged components just because the water they absorbed expanded when it froze, causing them to expand as well.
Here are some things you can do to get ready for spring, as well as manage your properties during springtime:
- Check your roof for water and ice damage
- Blow out the sprinkler systems before turning them back on
- Call an HVAC professional to come and check your AC system, particularly the outdoor components
- Check the shutoff valve for each plumbing fixture and the water main to make sure they weren’t ruptured due to freezing in the winter
- Check all faucets on the exterior of your building
- Because lint (accompanied by pollen and dust) may build up in dryer vents, make sure they are clear
- Check on your air filters to ensure they’re being changed often enough to support your HVAC system.
When it comes to shutoff valves and air filters, working with your renters to ensure they know the locations of these components and how to operate them is crucial to ensuring you can continue to offer one of the best places to rent in Washington DC!
Summer brings cozy temperatures to DC, but it also carries humidity that can cause openings to expand. The burst of growth that happens in the spring may also cause some trees and shrubbery to grow out of control, so they may need some attention as well.
As the moisture of fall, winter, and spring starts doing its work on your decks, they may also suffer some damage due to deterioration. Your ally in DC property management can help you identify some maintenance measures, but here are some you may want to consider:
- Check your wood decks and patios for deterioration
- Reseal exterior wood where necessary
- Check to make sure windows and doors open, shut, and lock properly
- How are your air filters holding up? It’s time for another seasonal check to ensure your renters are doing their part to care for your HVAC system.
Fall is the prelude to winter, so there are several things you need to do before the temps start to drop if you plan on being one of the places to rent in Washington DC that renters turn to! Often, time is not on your side, so it’s best to set a schedule and take care of these things in a timely fashion:
- Drain your sprinkler systems to prevent potentially damaging freezing
- Check your gutters for leaf buildup and ensure proper drainage
- Bring in a chimney sweep to handle that historic fireplace
- Double-check weatherstripping and add caulk around the edges of doors and windows.
Winter in DC can be a challenge for landlords as we creep into the low 30s and 40s. To prepare:
- Check the walkways for cracks that should be handled before a shovel starts digging into them
- Trim the branches of trees, so they don’t drop under the weight of ice or unexpected snow
- Trim bushes and shrubs, so they don’t impede snow removal equipment if it’s needed.
If you take these measures, you can look forward to a smoother, easier year and the continued income that comes from offering one of the best places to rent in Washington DC! Plus, if the workload seems like a lot to keep up with, a property management professional in DC can help!
A great place to get started is by downloading your free copy of our Seasonal Maintenance Checklist! Our checklist provides excellent guidance for DIY landlords looking to ensure their properties are in excellent condition across each season that the District of Columbia has to offer.