Get a jump on spring maintenance of your rental property with these 5 steps to prep it for warmer weather. Let our property management company help you.
Spring maintenance is particularly important if you have an investment property in Central Oregon. As the weather warms up, more people tend to actively look for new rentals, which means property appearance becomes more important. Tenants start to be more active outdoors, which means that yard care is a priority. And there are plenty of ways to prepare your property for the hot days – and associated air conditioning – ahead.
Let’s go through some of the more important spring prep steps owners should be planning for their properties.
1. Inspect Your Roof
f you haven’t already done this, grab a ladder and carefully inspect the roof. Look for any signs of damage, including missing shingles, cracked shingles, bent and rusted flashing, or similar problems. Ice and snow on a rooftop can cause a variety of damage, as can high winds over the winter. If you notice significant damage, it’s time to call a reliable roof contractor before leaks develop and the problem gets much worse.
If there are pine needle piles or other debris on the roof, now is also the time to sweep them away. If you notice any moss or algae growing on the roof, it’s a good idea to arrange for it to be professionally cleaned off as well.
2. Clean the Gutters
Gutters tend to be filled with leaves, pine needles, and dirt after winter is done with them. It’s important to clean all this debris out when the weather starts improving. Leaving it in could create overflows during rainy days, lead to ice build-up in winter, and attract pests – plus it looks very untidy to potential tenants.
3. Prep Your AC
Make sure the air conditioning system is functioning properly, any nearby drainage is working, and clear any debris away from outdoor units. Replace the AC filter if you have one.
If it’s been a few years, you should arrange for a maintenance visit from an HVAC professional. Among other things, they can check the refrigerant levels in your AC unit and refill them if necessary to improve efficiency. This is especially important for properties that use heat pumps, as many in Central Oregon do.
4. Turn on the Sprinklers and Set a Schedule
It’s time to take the brown winter lawn and make it grow again. Turn your sprinklers on and create a watering schedule that will green things up without wasting water. It’s generally better to avoid watering during the heat of the day where water can evaporate, while overwatering can cause problems with fungi and other issues.
5. Manicure Your Yard
Before the sprinklers start encouraging growth, plan a session of thorough yard cleaning. Rake up any pinecones, pine needles and leaves that may have become embedded over winter. If this uncovers any bare spots or similar problems, purchase some matching grass seeds to seed the area and encourage new growth in spring. This is also the time to apply a long-lasting fertilizer that will help grass and plants grow throughout the spring.
If it has been a while, you may also want to think about aerating your lawn. It’s not necessary to do this every year in Central Oregon, but if it’s been a few years then this can help lawn health. You can usually rent your own aerating and dethatching equipment or hire a local service to handle it for you.
Finally, unless you are already set to visit the property at least once a week and mow the grass, it’s time to arrange for visits from a lawnmowing service in Central Oregon. Once lawns start growing again after winter, they grow fast, and lawn services are in high demand: Act quickly before this becomes an issue.
6. Arrange for Tree Trimming if Necessary
Fire season along the West Coast has been more severe in recent years, and it’s important to make sure your property has a low risk for fire problems. One important way to do this is by removing any trees or tree branches that are too close to the house, which allows fire to spread. While you can trim brushes plants as a DIY project, large tree branches usually require professional tree removal services in Bend. This is also why it’s important to keep grass mown and weeds under control.
To address fire hazards further, you can consider switching to more native, fire-resistant plants.
7. De-Winterize Important Parts of the House
It’s also time to reverse some of the winterization steps taken to protect a house during the cold months. If you have seals on your foundation vents, remove them so air can circulate more easily. If you control the thermostat, switch the scheduling to focus on cooling the house down during the hotter parts of the day.
8. Check Your Window Screens and Weather-Stripping
Since windows tend to be opened more often in spring and summer, it’s a good idea to review your window screens to make sure they are firmly in place, and that none of them have been torn, bent, or damaged, which could let pets in. Likewise, check the weather-stripping around your windows and doors to make sure it is still sealing the edges and preventing any cool air from escaping.
This is also a prime opportunity to wash windows around the house, as they often become dirty after a long winter. Cleaning them will help make the house feel brighter and more inviting.
9. Look for Pest Issues
Many types of insects and animals find ways into warm houses over the winter. It is important to do a basic inspection for any nests, droppings, residue, or damage that indicates a problem with pests. You may also want to schedule a professional pest control inspection if you suspect that your property has an issue.
10. Stock Up on Important Spring and Summer Supplies
If you manage your own basic maintenance as a landlord, you probably have a store of supplies to use for general repairs, etc. Now is the perfect time to review your supplies and stock up on anything that you may need, especially things that will be in higher demand now that the weather is warmer.
Check your supply of HVAC filters and any water filters you may be using on the property. Replenish your light bulbs, especially outdoor light bulbs that can see significantly more use during this time of year. Make sure you have a capable tool kit with enough screws and nails to take on minor repair projects, too.
Other Spring Tips Landlords Should Keep in Mindb
Check your curb appeal. If the front door and yard are looking a little weather-beaten, this is a good time to plan on freshening them up with a coat of paint, hanging flowers or new shrubs. Pick species that are easy to bring indoors or perennials that can weather colder winters.
- Once you’ve set an irrigation schedule, it’s a good idea to get a little wet and walk around the yard while the sprinklers are working. Look for sprinkler heads that are turned the wrong way, not functioning, or have developed leaks. These issues should be repaired immediately.
Set ground rules for outdoor play if you need to. If your lease doesn’t specify anything about how tenants use the yard, you’ll want to set rules as the weather starts warming up. Consider how the yard should be treated to keep it healthy, and everyone safe. That can potentially include rules for kids' toys, inflatable pools, smoking outdoors, hanging string lights, parties, outdoor camping or movie projectors, and so on.
Check the trim and frames around the house, which can experience wear and tear during the winter. These spots may need to be touched up with paint if they are starting to strip down to bare wood.
Check the dryer vent. It’s a small part of the property, but it’s important. Clean out any lint debris around it and look for signs of clogs. You can get a professional to clean it out if necessary.
- Ask tenants to report signs of mold or mildew that may have spread in the house during winter. Moisture can sometimes build up indoors during the colder months.
Does your property have decks or steps? Tenants like to spend lots of time outdoors in the warm Bend seasons, and steps are common liability risks. Make sure they are in good repair, and if you can, add LED light strips or indicators so people can see them in the evening.
- Don’t forget to give sidewalks and driveways a quick inspection. The freeze/thaw cycle of winter can create cracks or enlarge existing cracks. If this damage has become extensive, it’s time to think about a restoration project.
You can send your tenants a list of spring-cleaning tips, too. Many people plan for a spring cleaning of their own to keep their home and possessions tidy, and they may appreciate any ideas. Make it clear you’ll still take care of all the owner responsibilities.
Partner with Mt. Bachelor Property Management for Reliable Maintenance
Managing rental properties or preparing other types of investment properties can be difficult if you already have a full schedule, or if you can’t be there in person. Mt. Bachelor Property Management offers a complete suite of services for local properties, including handling important maintenance tasks for spring, winterizing properties when winter comes, and much more. We also handle important details like collecting payments and addressing emergency repairs. Contact us to learn more, see how our property management services what, and what resources you’ll have access to as an owner.
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