Its that time of year again, the temperature outside is dropping, the wind is blowing, and snow could be falling soon. The winter offers a wide variety of challenges and it can be hard on everything including your car and your home. To make sure that your home, or rental property is ready for a Kingston winter; just follow these six easy steps:
Turn off exterior water taps – Shut offs can generally be found inside the house, along the pipe leading to the exterior. This is important to shut off and drain to avoid the pipe bursting. The last thing you, or a tenant wants is a burst pipe over the holidays. Protect your rental property, and turn it off.
Inspect all windows and doors for leaks. – In order to prevent heat loss, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed. Check the weather-stripping around windows and door frames, and replace where necessary. Also check for drafts and caulk both inside and out where necessary, to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Keep your blinds closed when you are not home – As crazy as it sounds, keeping your blinds closed when you are not home can save you a lot in utilities. Windows can let out a lot of heat from your home, having your blinds closed will add an insulating layer to help keep it in.
Keep salt and a shovel by the front door – Every Canadian knows this trick. Its important to keep your shovel and salt by the door, so that when it snows, you can dig your way out and salt accordingly. It is also important to make sure your rental property has shovels, and salt as well. If someone were to slip and fall at your income property, you can be held liable.
Keep your steps and driveway clear of ice and snow – This is important for your own home, as well as any additional properties you might own. Speaking from experience, it is very easy to slip and injure yourself in the winter. No one wants to miss several days to a week worth of work due to injury. Any injuries that happen at your rental property could also be traced back to the owner.
Have an emergency bin ready – Anyone who lived through the ice storm of 1998 will tell you that it is very possible to have a severe storm that knocks out your power for days on end. During the winter months, it is important to have an emergency bin and plan ready in case the power goes out. Owning a generator is a great way to be prepared for a major power outage. Things you should keep in your emergency bin include: Blankets, Warm Clothes, Flashlights, Batteries, Candles, Non-perishable Foods (Soups, Dried Goods and Canned Goods), Matches/Lighter, etc.
Following these six easy steps will help to ensure a safe, comfortable, and affordable winter for you and/or your tenants.