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Springtime Maintenance for Your Rental Property

Springtime Maintenance for Your Rental Property

The Spring is finally starting in Chicago, with warmer weather and nasty thunderstorms. Are your rental properties prepared to get through the season or set up to fail at the worst time? Preventative maintenance saves money by preventing more significant problems from occurring at the worst time. It keeps the tenant happy and staying in the property longer, meaning you will cash flow better over the long run of your investment. Below is a list of the top 5 springtime preventative maintenance you should be doing at your rental properties. Remember, investing in these maintenance tasks now can save you from costly repairs in the future, ensuring a healthier financial outlook for your property.

5. Clean your gutters:

Over the fall and winter, leaves and debris build up and can clog your gutters. When gutters clog, rainwater has nowhere to go and thus starts to run down the side of your siding or brick; this, over time, causes the outside of your home to deteriorate and left long enough, you’ll have significant water damage in your home every time it rains. The cost to clean gutters is about $200 to $500 a year, depending on the size of your building. However, the cost to tuckpoint the building is $5000 to $20000, depending on the size of the building and the damage done. Neglecting this maintenance could lead to costly repairs and potential tenant dissatisfaction. It's crucial to act now to avoid these risks.

4. Tree and bush trimming:

If trees hang over electric wires or the roof of your home or garage, one lousy spring storm could significantly damage your property. Ensuring everything is trimmed so that if the tree branches fall off, the damage is nonexistent, which can save you a ton and a possible insurance claim. Most insurance companies will cancel your policy if they feel your trees are too far over your home. And since you have the landscaping company out, why not have them make any bushes look pretty? Giving your tenants a sense of pride in where they live will not only make them stay longer, but studies show they will also take better care of the property if they see you take better care of the property. This investment in appearance can significantly enhance the value of your property.

3. Pest Control:

Springtime is prime time for bugs to start hatching and hunting for food; we recommend two types of pest control. The first is pesticides around the home and windows to deter the pests from coming in. The second is to ensure that your home's foundation is sealed correctly; if the bottom of the house is starting to break apart or the black tar has holes in it, then the pests can come in freely. Remember, a mouse only needs a hole the size of a dime to get through your home.

2. HVAC:

If you have a boiler system, it's time to shut it down for the season; properly draining it for the season and turning it off will give you much better odds that it will fire up without any issues in the fall. If you have forced Air and an A/C unit, now is the time to clean the A/C condenser to make sure it's ready to go for those hot summer days.

1. Plumbing:

If you have trees near your home, they could build up and grow in your pipes, which can cause a primary backup. Having a plumber come out while your basement is flooding with sewer backup is expensive. Having a plumber come when they are slow to rod or hydro jet your line to make sure it's clear is a sound investment, especially if you have a backup history. You can also take it one step further and add some root killer to the drain pipes and a pipe cleaner/degreaser to all the sinks and tubs to help prevent grease backups.

So many times, we take over a poorly maintained building. The owner tried to squeeze out every ounce of profit into their pockets, and now the building has 10’s of thousands of dollars worth of work that has to be done. Remember, cash flow is excellent, but the big payoff of investing in property is the appreciation; if you try to take too much profit off the top without taking care of the basics, your home will not appreciate but start to fall apart and have huge cap x costs that could have been prevented or at least delayed. By prioritizing maintenance, you're not just ensuring the immediate profitability of your property, but also its long-term value and appreciation.

Bonus item:

Stain wood porches: If the sun has been beating down on your wood porch for over three years, the protection from the stain is wearing off, which means water will start to rot out your porch. A new porch can be a 20- to 30-k job, so spending a thousand or two to paint every three years is a no-brainer.