Cold weather is here in Virginia now and with the change of seasons comes a list of things renters need to pay special attention to.
Here are a few fall and winter tips you can advise your renters about to ensure your home stays safe and warm during the colder days ahead.
For the exterior:
Hoses, Spigots, and Sprinklers
Frozen pipes can happen quickly when it's really cold. Help prevent frozen pipes by checking that all exterior water sources have been disconnected and winterized. Disconnect all hoses from their spigots, then cover the spigots. If the property has sprinklers, make sure to winterizing them too if they haven’t done so already. And once the sprinklers have been blown out, do not turn them back on. This could damage the system and require another blowout. If possible, you can also turn off the water to the exterior of the home.
Make sure to rake up any leaves from the yard. Leaves left where they fall can kill your grass and cause mold and fungus growth. Raking them helps keep your lawn healthy and ready for Spring. Plus, jumping in the piles is a lot of fun!
Pathways and Debris
As the days get darker, the risk of slips and trips also increases. Proper lighting can help prevent any bumps in the night, so make sure to turn on exterior lights when appropriate. Make sure your pathways are clear of debris or any objects that could cause injuries, and ensure all trash is properly disposed of to prevent pests.
For the Interior:
Smoke and CO Alarms
Be sure to test and replace batteries for all of your smoke and CO alarms on an annual basis. Keeping these in proper working order is a must!
Turn On the Heat
This may sound like a given, but some people do like their homes a bit colder. Heat is a must during the colder times of the year, but opinions vary on what’s the lowest you should go. However, many experts agree that you shouldn’t set your heat below 68 degrees during the winter months. Some leases also specify what temperature you shouldn’t drop below, so be sure to check there as well. And if you notice an issue with the heat at your home, look at getting it fixed immediately.
Windows and Doors
Checking the doors and windows for proper functionality can help keep the cold where it belongs - outside! Be sure to check that all of them close and lock properly. If you notice any issues, drafts, or leaks, repair right away.
Fireplaces are a great amenity during the colder months and everyone loves a good fire. If the home has a wood-burning fireplace, make sure to open the flue before you light a fire. Clean away any ash and debris regularly. And if anything seems wrong or isn’t working, extinguish the fire immediately and contact the proper chimney company to evaluate.
Enjoy this wonderful winter and holiday season ahead and please stay safe and warm!