As a landlord in Reno, Nevada, it’s your job to ensure your property is habitable and running efficiently. Now, you can only achieve that by staying up-to-date on the many maintenance tasks.
Keeping on top of your rental property maintenance can help you catch small problems before they turn into large expenses.
In today’s article, we are going to look at some of the main tasks that you should include in your preventative maintenance checklist.
Rental Property Maintenance Checklist
1. Check the gutters.
Gutters are like Batman. A silent guardian, defending your home while you sleep soundly. Unlike Batman, though, gutters are always in need maintenance.
Cleaning your roof’s gutters is a small task that can prevent big problems. Water runoff around your home’s foundation can cause trouble. Moist soil conditions can be a magnet for termites, and in severe cases, undermine the foundation.
The good thing to know is that water run-off is usually a result of clogged gutters. Gutters can become clogged with twigs and branches when cleaning is neglected, especially after the fall. If you have large trees near your Reno home, the risk of your gutters filing up with debris is high.
Luckily, gutter cleaning isn’t a task that requires expert help. You can do the job yourself if you have some spare time. Although, a partner is always recommended as they can hold the ladder for you.
2. Check the dryer.
Poorly maintained dryers are a fire hazard. In fact, dryers are responsible for almost 3,000 residential fires annually. And, about a third of them are due to poor maintenance.
Dryer vents can become clogged over time due to the buildup of lint. If your rental property has a laundry room, cleaning of the dryer vents is an even more important task.
Not only will proper dryer maintenance help prevent these fires, but it’ll also ensure they operate efficiently. Clothes will dry quicker which will ultimately help reduce your property’s utility bills.
3. Service the septic system.
Receiving an emergency phone call in the middle of the night from a worried renter might be annoying. However, that should be the least of your worries if there is a septic crisis. Just visualize the cleaning up after an overflowing toilet.
Many experts recommend servicing the septic system every five years or so. Many homeowners, however, let it go for far much longer. It’s a good idea to keep reminders in your calendar so you know when it’s time to service your septic tank.
4. Inspect and clean the fireplace and chimney.
Who doesn’t love a nice, warm fire during the cold winter months? With regular maintenance and cleaning your renters will be able to keep warm in front of the fireplace.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireplaces and chimneys cause more than 25,000 house fires every year.
If your tenants use the fireplace, have the chimney inspected once a year. If you don’t your fireplace will be a hazard rather than a benefit.
5. Check your HVAC system.
The HVAC system, like any other installation, requires regular maintenance and care. Regular maintenance can lower utility costs, reduce equipment-replacement costs, and keep tenants happy.
HVAC service experts recommend hanging the HVAC system filters at least once a year. This is crucial for both the air quality and the unit’s performance.
Doing this can help lower energy bills by up to 15%, according to Energy.gov.
Fortunately, replacing filters isn’t a costly affair. Depending on size and model, it can cost anything from $4 to $20. Sure, this is an extra expense. But, the improved efficiency will more than make up for the maintenance cost.
6. Flush your water heater.
You should drain your water heaters at least once or twice every year. By draining it, you remove any sediment that may have built up over time.
Too much sediment build-up usually impacts a water heater’s productivity. And, replacing a water heater doesn’t come cheap.
When flushing your water heater, try to be as cautious as possible. If you choose to try it yourself, make sure to stick to the recommended procedure. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, hire someone who is.
7. Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.
These devices save lives. To ensure your tenant stays safe, regular smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector maintenance is important in your rental property.
Ensure these devices are functioning optimally by checking them every month. Test both hard wired and battery-operated devices. Carbon monoxide detectors have an average lifespan of about 5 years, while smoke alarms have about a decade.
Failure to maintain these devices could potentially get you in trouble.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than a million fires occur annually and as many as 3,000 people die from them. The CDC also reports that more than 400 deaths occur as a direct result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
8. Examine shower caulking and grout between tiles.
As time goes by, caulk surrounding the tub can loosen and the grout between tiles can crack. When either of these takes place, your rental property can be in trouble.
You’ll no longer have a waterproof seal and water can start leaking through and cause damage to the surrounding walls or the floor beneath.
The moment you notice any holes and cracks, act quickly. Replace the grout and caulking to prevent potential water damage to your property.
9. Check for water damage and leaks.
13.7% of all water used in the home today can be attributed to plumbing leaks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Water damage can originate from different sources. These sources include clogged toilets, flood waters, broken/leaking pipes, a dishwater leakage, and a broken dishwasher hose.
When it comes to water leaks, identifying them early is essential. Ongoing leaks can cause serious and costly damage. Besides completely damaging ceilings, walls, and your tenant’s possessions, mold can also begin to grow.
As a part of your preventative maintenance checklist, include inspections for leaks. Check for soft spots on the walls, ceilings, and roofs, and look for signs of water around toilets, showers, and windows. Also, don’t forget to check underwater heaters, boilers, and sinks too.
10. Exterminate every month.
Whether signs exist or not, it’s to your advantage to exterminate monthly. Extend the extermination to include the entire property, as critters can simply travel to another part of the property if threatened.
Although this can easily pass for a DIY project, it’s usually best left to the experts.
These are the 10 property maintenance tasks that should become routine for your rental property. Remember, prevention is better than cure.