Because Southern California offers excellent weather all year long, you might think that there is little you need to do to your property to prepare for fall and winter. However, while you might not see below-freezing temperatures, you will experience fluctuations that can have an impact on your property; during the winter, it can drop to 40 degrees at night and stay in the 60s during the day. As such, you will want to prepare for the chillier temperatures. Not to mention that routine maintenance is vital no matter the weather. Below are our five tips for preserving your property this fall.
1. Start with Exterior Maintenance
Fall is the ideal season for exterior maintenance on your home. It’s cool enough that working outside isn’t irritating or dangerous, but still warm and dry enough that things like paint and sealants will dry with ease. Winter here tends to be a bit rainy, so the goal is to ensure that the exterior of your property is ready to stand up to both the rain and the chill. Your basic exterior maintenance should include:
- Check the siding of your building or buildings to ensure it is not pulling away from the rest of the structure. Look for chips and cracks as well. Any problems found should be addressed through repairs, when possible, or replacement of the damaged section.
- As you inspect the siding, check the paint. If it’s peeling or blistering, it’s no longer able to protect the material underneath it and you should repaint the building.
- Drainage systems should be checked for problems and cleaned. This includes gutters and downspouts. With the expected increase in precipitation come winter, you want to make sure nothing will prevent water from being pulled away from the property and routed to safer areas.
- Inspect the roof. Look for missing or loose shingles or any other obvious signs of damage. If it’s been a while since your roof was professionally inspected, call a roofing contractor to inspect it both inside and out.
2. Weatherize the Property
While temperatures will not get dangerously low, they are still going to drop. As such, you will want to take a few small steps to keep renters comfortable and energy costs lower. Weatherizing your property will help to keep the chill out and warmth in. The best way to do this is by caulking around windows and doorframes. Over time, the caulk that is already there will wear down and pull away, leaving gaps where drafts can get in. Every fall, check to ensure the seals are still solid and repair them if not.
Another great way to keep the chill out is by installing door sweeps. Door sweeps are attached to the bottom of doors and the rubber seal helps to prevent air from flowing in or out. These tend to last several years, making them a solid investment. Finally, if your property has ceiling fans, change their direction so they create an upward draft, which helps to force the hot air near the ceiling throughout the room.
3. Prepare the Heating System
Whoever is renting your property is going to want to turn on the heat at least during the nights once the colder weather hits. It’s your responsibility to make sure it’s ready for them to use, and that it’s safe for them to do so. Below are the steps you need to take to make sure the heating system is cold-weather ready.
- Service the fireplace, if your property has one. This includes cleaning it to reduce the chances of a fire becoming out of control and making sure the chimney structure is still solid.
- If your heating system as filters or a humidification system, clean them now. These items should be cleaned each season, but the humidification system is particularly important as the temperatures drop and renters start using the furnace.
- Have the furnace checked. Your furnace is a complicated machine and there is a lot that can go wrong. In most cases, the things that can go wrong are just inconvenient, but in certain situations, they are dangerous. As such, you want to have the furnace checked and serviced every fall to protect your renters and your property.
4. Maintain Your Hardscaping
Your hardscape elements add significant value to your property, but as the weather turns cold, they can be damaged. If you have asphalt, concrete, or wood structures, you will want to take steps to protect them.
For asphalt and concrete, you should take the time to clean them, repair damage, and seal them before winter hits. For wood surfaces, clean, repair, and seal them as well. If you will not be using them for a while, cover them if possible.
5. Tend Your Garden
Depending on the greenery you have at your property, you may not need to do much to prepare for winter. However, if you have trees or plants that are sensitive to the cold, you will need to take a few steps to prep your landscaping for winter. We suggest the following steps:
- Trim trees and shrubs to remove any dead limbs or overgrowth. If fungus is a concern, inject your trees with a fungicide.
- Move plants that are sensitive to the cold inside.
- If you have plants that will not last through the season, go ahead and remove them.
- Aerate your lawn to take advantage of the coming moisture.
Full-Service Property Management
If you would prefer to hand the reins over to someone else, A Creative Property Management is here to help. We are a full-service property management company handling everything from marketing to maintenance, and that includes preserving your property throughout the year. If you would like to learn more about our services and rates, schedule a consultation.