Thanksgiving is next week. Winter doesn’t officially begin until the 21st of next month, but winter weather will be here long before that date. It is at this time that Empire sends out our Winter Preparation Alert to our tenants. It is a simple step, but it helps prevent broken pipes and water outages during the cold months.

Here is a list of the recommendations our tenants receive.

  • Water – Anytime the temperature is predicted to drop below 30 degrees, leave a straw-sized stream of water flowing from both the hot and cold sides of all faucets, including showers and tubs.
    • Also, open cabinet doors under the sink in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Sprinkler System – Turn off the sprinkler system timer and shut off the valves.
    • Timers are usually found in the garage and the valves are normally in a box next to the timer. If you require assistance, let us know!
  • Hoses – Disconnect all exterior hoses and install valve covers. Skipping this step leads to more frozen pipes than any other reason.
    • Empire will provide valve covers if needed.
  • Landscaping – Leaves in the yard will kill the grass. The best cleanup method is a combo of a blower, rake, and a mower with a bag attachment. But in the absence of access to those, an old-fashioned rake and leaf bag works very well.
  • Gutters and Roof – Do not go on the roof, we’ll start by specifying that. Empire does not want any of our tenants on the roof. However, look up and check if the gutters are clogged or if there are a lot of leaves piled up. If there is, reach out and let us know.
    • Empire begins to address this piece of yearly maintenance in the first week of December.
  • Air Filters – Filters should be changed, at minimum, once every three months. A dirty air filter causes the heating unit to work harder, resulting in high electric bills.
  • Heating Systems – Wood and pellet stoves, and forced air systems all require maintenance from time to time. Is yours not running smoothly? Don’t wait for the thermostat to drop below 0 degrees, let us know now.

It is a short list, but it does a lot to streamline the transition to winter. With property management, like with most of life, the devil is in the details. We take of the small, little things that, when ignored, grow into major issues.

Happy landlording!