Spring has sprung, and warmer weather is well on its way in many parts of the country. For residents, this means pool parties and outdoor barbecues are on the horizon. For property managers and landlords, it’s a whole different story. The departure of winter means it is time to inspect your properties to evaluate any damage the cold, snow, and ice may have caused and prepare for the summer heat.
The spring maintenance guide for property managers, by property managers.
We asked our social media audience of property management professionals, what was on the top of their to-do maintenance list for this spring and used their tasks to build the ultimate checklist for property managers. See the list below!
What’s the first thing that happens when the sun begins to shine, and the weather warms up? People want to be outdoors. Inspect the landscaping at your property to see what needs to be shaped up: trees and shrubs, new soil or lawn fertilizer, flower beds, etc. These tasks are critical for the TLC of your grounds as summer nears.
Power wash decks, steps, sidewalks
If your property features a deck or patio, now is the perfect time to get it in pristine condition so that your residents can enjoy them to the fullest. Power washing an outdoor deck each year helps keep it looking new and minimizes the havoc that may have been caused by the blankets of ice, snow, and sleet it faced.
Paint the exterior
Spring is a great time to give the exterior of your property a face lift, and a fresh coat of paint can work wonders for any property. Whether you opt to smarten up the entire property or decide to just paint the front doors, this task will give you added curb appeal throughout the spring and summer.
Clean the gutters
Debris clogs over time as leaves, branches, and grime fall onto the roof. The buildup can take a toll on your gutters, causing them to rip off or cause leaks that will damage the walls, siding, and roof of your buildings. Water leaks can develop into mold, which leads to health issues and additional maintenance to treat.
Extremely low temperatures can affect your air conditioning systems, causing problems when your tenants decide it’s time to start up the A/C. It’s important to inspect your units in the spring to make sure everything is still intact (panels, pipe insulation, outdoor coil). If you cover the coils for winter, make sure to remove the covers before your residents re-start their systems.
Re-caulk doors and windows
Caulk on windows and doors may have worn during the winter. Inspect these areas on the exterior of your buildings and re-caulk as needed. Test for air leaks as well—you don’t want the cool air inside your units escaping through unfilled cracks.
Check wood trim
Inspect any exposed wood on your porches, deck, doors, and windows for rot, insect damage, etc. and take the necessary steps to repair. Getting this task completed before the April showers cause more damage will benefit you in the short and long run.
Replace torn window screens
Examine the windows of your property and make sure the screens are in good shape. Holes and tears make it easier for pests to get into your units. If you spot any window screens that have damage, be sure to replace them so your residents can enjoy the warmer weather that’s heading our way.
Tune up outdoor grills
If your property offers residents access to outdoor gas grills, you’ll want to make sure they are tuned up and ready for BBQ season. Give your grill a deep cleaning, replace the grates as needed, prep the propane, and you should be ready to go – Happy grilling!
Replace broken lights and check patio furniture
The final exterior task on our list is making sure you’re providing top-level comfort for your residents. Outdoor lighting on walkways/patios may have been damaged during the winter—replacing bad bulbs and lighting equipment will help tenants feel secure on your property at night. If you have an outdoor area that has furnishings, you’ll want to conduct a quick inspection to make sure that the cushions aren’t worn and that the furniture is in safe, usable condition.
Spray for pests
People aren’t the only ones who want to hideaway inside during frigid months. As temperatures warm up, pests will come out of hiding as well. You’ll want to wipe down windows, as well as checking/treating for ants, wasps, cockroaches, and other pests that may be hiding out in your units this spring.
Preparing your plumbing for the spring is different than prepping for the colder months. It’s a good time to do a few basic tests to make sure your systems are working the way they’re supposed to. Check both indoor and outdoor faucets, pipes, and sump pumps, as well as irrigation systems and patio drains. The change in temperature can cause leaks and blockages, which you’ll want to fix right away.
Drain and inspect water heaters
During the winter, sediment can build up in hot water tanks. How much/how fast sediment builds up will depend on where you live and what type of tank you have. Draining the sediment will help your water heaters last longer. This is also a good time to double check temperature gauges and reset them for the spring if needed.
Replace batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
If your units contain battery-powered detectors, remind your tenants or task your maintenance team with changing the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Spring is also an ideal time to run tests to make sure all safety systems on your property are working correctly to ensure everyone is safe and protected.
As the seasons change, indoor air filters are likely ready for a change as well. Be sure to use this time to replace your filters. Changing furnace and A/C filters ensures that your tenants are getting the maximum benefits from your property’s HVAC systems. Air filters defend your units from countless air pollutants that your residents would prefer to stay outside. Plus, dirty A/C filters don’t just hurt your air quality; they’ll hurt your wallet.
Check dryer vents for lint
This task may seem simple, but it’s extremely important and often overlooked. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that every year nearly 3,000 home fires are started by clothes dryers, and the leading cause is the buildup of lint. When ducts, hoses, and vents are congested with lint buildup, dryers can overheat, causing a fire to ignite.
If you live in a part of the country that receives heavy snowfall during the winter, you may want to use this time to inspect the carpets in your units. Snow, slush, and salt were probably tracked in during the past few months, causing your beautiful flooring to look dirty and damaged. Inspect, clean, and repair as needed.
We hope this checklist helps in getting your properties in tip-top shape for spring! A special thank you to the members of our online community who submitted their tasks to us on social media:
Angie Durham – Parker and Associates
Sherrie Featherly – Missoula Property Management
Nicole Hebbe – Manufactured Housing Enterprises
Melissa Lowndes – Meli Property Services
Ammie Proctor – Saddleback Valley Communities
Kristi Schulte – Shiprock Management
Chris Simmons – Bradam Properties
Jim Smith – The Property Management Company
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