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Now that the winter season is officially upon us it is time to be paying close attention to the maintenance and upkeep of your home – including your rental properties.

When you have a rental property it is an excellent investment. However, it does require some maintenance to protect that investment and the winter weather can be more damaging than any other season to all systems of your properties.

Here are a few things that we suggest you do in preparation of the coming winter weather to keep your rental property in top shape:

Make sure that all of the windows are sealed properly and do not have any cracks or rotten spots in the molding around them. Check the weather stripping and replace it if necessary. Add more caulking to those spots that do not have any or where it is missing. If your tenants have been using window air conditioning units – this is the last call for getting those appliances taken down and stored.

Have the water heater inspected and make sure that it is ready for the cold winter temperatures. Consider having the tank flushed by a professional plumber and add an extra layer of protection by wrapping an insulated blanket around the tank to maintain the energy-efficiency.

If your rental property has a fireplace it is important to make sure that the flue is cleaned out and the structure of the chimney is in good shape. Have the cutout at the point of the roof inspected by a professional to make sure that it is in good shape and there are not concerns about fire

If you have any units that are vacant, make sure that the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees and that the plumbing is protected from freezing temperatures. If necessary, consider wrapping heat tape around plumbing that is installed in outside facing walls.

If there are any trees on the property that have low-hanging limbs, this is the perfect time to get those trimmed back so they don’t fall on the home and cause serious damage.

To ensure that your investment is protected – make sure to take these few steps before the winter weather settles in completely. There are some cold temperatures forecasted in the coming weeks and having an emergency at your rental property could really put a damper on your holidays.