Preventative maintenance is one of the most important aspects of property ownership. If you want to protect your investment, it’s important to perform routine maintenance to keep everything in the building functioning properly. If you’re thinking about doing some spring cleaning and want to be sure that you’re doing everything you can, here's a look at the most common preventative maintenance tasks a property owner should stay on top of.
1. Servicing the HVAC
HVAC stands for heat, ventilation, and air conditioning. This system includes your furnace, heat pumps, duct system, air conditioning, and any other temperature control system in the home. The HVAC system should be serviced by a professional at least once a year, but optimally every six months. The time to service the HVAC system is right before it’s needed — which means the fall for the heating systems and the spring for the air conditioning.
2. Pest Control
No one wants to think about ants or cockroaches getting into their home. But the unfortunate reality is that they do often find their way into even the cleanest of homes, and it’s important for property owners to routinely spray for pests or hire a pest control service. A good rule of thumb is to spray for pests at least once per quarter. You may want to do it more often if infestations are frequent, but a minimum of four times per year should be enough to keep the unwanted guests at bay.
3. Fixing Leaks and Plumbing
Pipes and faucets are an integral part of your home. A burst pipe or a leaky bathtub can do serious damage to your property and potentially ruin your resident’s belongings. Most professional plumbers agree that plumbing should be serviced by a professional at least once every two years. The optimal time is in the spring because the winter is often the harshest season for your plumbing system and examining it in the spring will allow you to diagnose any damage before it becomes serious.
4. Inspecting the Roof
The roof of your home is among the most important structural elements, but it often gets ignored because it’s out of sight and out of mind. Most experts agree that you should check your roof at least once per year. The best time to do so is usually in the fall to prepare for winter, but it depends on the weather patterns in your region. For example, if you live in a tropical climate where winters are mild, but the spring and summer bring heavy rainfall, it may be smart to check the roof closer to the spring. A new roof can be expensive, so be sure not to defer any maintenance that needs to be done!
5. Cleaning the Gutters
Cleaning gutters is an arduous, yet important task that many ignore. You should make a note to clean your gutters at least twice per year — once in the spring and once in the fall. If you live near a lot of foliage, you may want to do it more frequently, but any less than twice per year will leave your gutters vulnerable to getting clogged or breaking.
6. Patching Cracks Holes and Dents
As careful as we try to be, every home goes through wear and tear. That’s why it’s important to learn the basics of spackling and drywall when you buy a property, so you can repair any minor cracks and holes whenever necessary. The best time to repair a crack or dent is as soon as possible after it’s discovered to prevent any permanent damage. However, it’s up to your discretion how often you want to check for dents and holes and the best time may be during any vacancies.
A fresh paint job is a great way to improve the resale value of your investment property and give it a new lease on life. Most home experts suggest painting your home every 3 to 5 years to keep the paint looking fresh, but you can do it more or less frequently depending on your need and tastes.
8. Maintaining Lawn and Landscape
The lawn and landscaping are another crucial part of maintaining the appearance of your property. If you have a beautiful home on an ugly, overgrown lot, it’s all for nothing. During the growing season (which is typically spring and summer), you should mow the lawn and service the landscaping once a week. You can either do it yourself or hire a professional landscaping company to manage it for you. In the off-season, you can relax every other week, unless you notice it getting overgrown.
9. Check Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are integral to protecting the health and safety of your family or residents. However, it can be easy to let them fall into disrepair if you’re not checking them frequently. The US Fire Administration recommends testing these devices once per month and changing the batteries at least once per year. That will prevent any malfunctions in an emergency.
Staying on top of preventative maintenance for your investment property can take a lot of time and energy - especially if you self-manage your properties. Consider hiring a property management to take the headaches out of managing your property and get your weekends back!