Real Home Solutions of Rhode Island

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Seasonal Property Maintenance

The following is a rough list of seasonal property maintenance items. Some items aren’t necessarily season-specific but should be done yearly, so they’ve been “assigned” to a season.

We’ll update this page over time, but if you have any questions/suggestions please feel free to contact us.

Spring

  • Each Unit
    • General walk-through/inspection
    • Smoke/CO detectors
      • All in right locations? (outside each bedroom, one on each level, etc.)
      • Test detectors with test button
      • Batteries – present (tenants sometimes remove)? expiration date?
      • Blow screens to clear out dust
      • Detector expiration date (about 10 years)
    • Air conditioners – inspect/service (if your responsibility)
    • Kitchen
      • Sink – leaks around and under
      • Dishwasher – leaks underneath
      • Fire extinguisher – good/bad gauge/dial
      • Stove exhaust hood – filter
      • Refrigerator/ice-maker – clean condenser coils with vacuum or soft brush (usually behind or underneath unit)
    • Bathroom
      • Toilet
        • Running?
        • Leaking (tank or inlet valve)?
        • Should be completely silent after done flushing
        • If problems, consider replacing with low water flush model (e.g., American Cadet line)
      • Sink
        • Drains quickly?
        • Leaks underneath?
        • Low flow aerator
      • Shower/Tub
        • Low flow shower head
        • Drains quickly?
        • Caulk – all joints and where it meets tub/walls; if discolored, remove and replace (make sure tenants allow proper time to cure, use 1 hour bathroom caulk if possible)
        • Shower curtain – make sure it’s double with inner liner to keep water inside tub
        • Faucet – check caulk around it; shower water can bounce up, get through and behind shower wall
  • Common Areas
    • Smoke/CO detectors – test them, batteries, blow screens out, expiration dates
    • Spring cleaning
      • Vacuum/sweep/dust
      • Get cobwebs up in corners
      • Touch up paint, if necessary
      • Replace light bulbs?
  • Basement
    • Service central air system, if any
    • Change damper settings on forced hot air systems for summer cooling
    • Hot water tank – signs of leaking? How old? (7-12 year lifespan)
    • Tag identifying main water shutoff (do tenants know about it?)
    • Signs of pest damage/infestation?
    • Lawn mower and other yard equipment – oil and gas
    • “Watchdog” water alarms
      • Make sure tenants know what they are and sound like, what to do
      • Near hot water tanks
      • Near washing machines (if present)
      • Test by touching both contacts
      • Battery expiration date
  • Outside
    • Signs of pest damage/infestation?
    • Roof (binoculars) – missing/damaged shingles? Fascia/eaves? (roof work best done in spring or fall)
    • Chimney – cracks?
    • Gutters and downspouts – Damage? Channel water 3′ – 5′ away?
    • Trees – remove dead ones, trim back any overhanging roof or neighbor driveways, or near utility lines
    • Stairs, patios, driveway – cracks?
    • Window/door screens – torn?

Summer

  • Kitchen – leaks and other items as above
  • Bathroom – leaks, caulk, etc. as above
  • Attic – check insulation, ventilation, creatures (squirrels, birds, etc.)
  • Outside – have chimney cap installed if not present
  • Consider getting home energy audit (e.g., RISE)
  • Basement
    • Leaks or moisture?
    • Drain/flush hot water tank
    • Drain steam system boilers
    • Nothing flammable near boilers, hot water heaters, etc.

Fall

  • Remind tenants: If they go away, heat must be kept on at least 60 degrees, not turned off
  • General unit walk-through/inspection – all under “Spring” section above
  • Basement
    • Service boilers and furnaces (e.g., filters)
    • Stock up on salt, shovels, etc. for winter snow removal
    • Drain/treat gas in lawn mowers, leaf blowers, etc.
    • Pipes – insulated in cold areas?
    • If oil heating, fill tank, lock in rate through winter if possible
    • Forced hot air systems
  • Outside
    • Wooden decks – seal every few years (need many days of rain-free weather)
    • Chimney – if present, have it cleaned (might get a better deal doing this in the spring, though)
    • Turn off water to outside faucets and drain for winter, drain outside hoses, consider putting covers over outside faucets
    • Windows and doors – caulking/insulation
    • If underground sprinklers, drain/blow out system for winter
    • If through-the-wall A/Cs, put insulated covers on inside and outside
    • Gutters and downspouts
      • Clean out leaves and debris
      • Make sure downspout extensions drain water away at least 3′ – 5′ from house

Winter

  • Inside
    • Test all GFCI outlets
  • Basement
    • Washing machine hoses – check, replace rubber w/ metal braided
    • Dryers – clean underneath, clean out vent (hardware stores have duct brushes)
    • Sump pumps – test (lift lever to make float go up and wait for the motor to click on); if you have a battery backup, unplug unit and test pump again
    • Check for gas leaks with soapy water? (put soapy water on joints, watch for bubbles)
  • Attic
    • Insulation and ventilation adequate?
    • Creatures present (birds, squirrels, etc.)?
  • Outside
    • Gutters and downspouts – clear for drainage

Filed under: Property Management — Anthony Thompson @ 11:09 am January 21, 2012

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