5 Tips for Property Management:
Spring and Summer
As property managers and renters make preparation for the spring, there are many focus areas and pain points to address for upkeep and maintenance. Winter temperatures and conditions leave a stamp on most properties and the question becomes, how are you preparing for the impending hospitality/renting season? Use these basic management tips as a guideline for the seasonal adjustment and make a comprehensive list other "action items" that should be completed before the springtime.
1. Outdoor Bulbs and Lighting: Begin to make replacements for all interior and exterior lighting fixtures. Whether you're providing a safe haven for city dwellers (Bed and Breakfast) or addressing basic property concerns, this is an excellent place to begin. In particular, the exterior lighting (especially if guests arrive at night) will drive certain emotions for your guests-to-be, and ideally you'd want to avoid a 'dark and creepy' characterization.
2. Sealed Ducts/Windows: Particularly for homeowners that rely on air conditioning units for hot summers, ducts and windows are potential 'leak spots' for the cooled air. This is a year-round maintenance must, as the lost air (cooled or heated) reduces the efficiency of your heating/cooling system. Sealant products are sold at many consumer outlets and retail stores, and are designed for simple home usage.
This is an easy change that can prevent air leakage (primary function), and consequently, sharpen the accuracy oftemperature monitoring devices or thermostats that may already be in place. Each room has its own microclimate and temperature sensors are extremely sensitive (by design) to change. These devices can help to divulge the temperature variation and the microclimates that exist within your dwelling, and double as an unbiased source of data that can highlight a leak or exposed area.
3. Outdoor Walkways and Paths: For homeowners/managers in harsher winter climates, outdoor paths and walkways may have been damaged/fractured from rain or snow. A cracked pathway is hardly an inviting sight to a potential guest or tenant! Be sure to examine all pathways for cracks, missing tiles, and standard wear and tear from the wintertime. This is also an injury liability; jagged edges or fractured path are hazards to your guests, particularly for children. For staining or discoloration, use chemical solutions and/or power washing to improve the visibility and attractiveness of said paths.
4. Gutter Cleaning: As a hard-to-reach spot, gutter cleaning is an essential for summer preparation. Inspect all downspouts and other bottlenecks in your gutters and ensure that you've cleared away winter debris. Springtime rain can be problematic with clogged and/or damaged gutters, and may lead to significant repair costs relative to leaks or gutter replacement. Check out this great article on the subject from DIYlife.com.
5. Humidity Monitors/Flood Sensors: The combined realities of spring rainfall and summer heat are a significant concern. The installation of humidity sensors and/or flood sensors is excellent safeguards for problematic weather. Use humidity sensors (particularly in rooms with electrical equipment) to prevent electrical shorts, molding and other hazards associated with high humidity levels. This article from AdvancedEnergy.org addresses some of the concerns associated with high humidity levels in homes.