As a homeowner, AND a Property Manager for several rental properties, I deal with maintenance issues on a regular basis. Some are simple, minor things such as a broken flapper in the toilet tank or a sink drain stopper that needs replacing. However, other issues are NOT so simple, and can cause a lot of damage and possibly turn into a disaster if they are left unchecked! Here is just one nightmare that happened to me and my husband at one of our personal investment properties:
Tenant sends urgent email message… says his son came home from school to find the powder bath flooded with water; then 10 minutes later calls frantically saying that water was now actually pouring down the driveway! Luckily, we were in town and at home… my husband went over there right away and found that the hot water heater in the garage had “blown.” Apparently pressure had built up, and “kaplooie”… water EVERYWHERE! The damage extended from the garage to the main floor powder bath, back hall, and main living room. Thousands of dollars, days of fans running, sheetrock repair and numerous trips to the property to “check the moisture levels” in the walls later… the problem was finally behind us. The sad thing is, it’s likely that this could have been avoided by simply doing a regular maintenance check on the pressure valve located on the water heater.
Here are 4 other maintenance tips/checks that can also help you!
Keep rodents out! If you notice ANY gaps around air conditioning lines, or any rotted wood in siding or facets under the eaves… fill them up with spray foam insulation and repair with new wood to avoid entry points for rodents to get into the walls BEFORE they discover them! These critters don’t discriminate either; if there is a way to get in, they’ll find it… doesn’t matter if you’re exceptionally clean, or not.
Change your air filters! You don’t even have to buy the expensive ones… even the cheap ones that are changed every 6 months or so will keep the air flow moving efficiently in your house and may help you to avoid costly HVAC mishaps! **Correction: air filters should be replaced every 3 months and monthly during allergy seasons!
Add bleach (a Dixie cupful) to the access hole for the main A/C drain in your attic! Ever notice a “rust” stain or nasty discoloration on the outside of someone’s house? This is caused by a clogged condenser drain line that is dripping. So, before a clog occurs (or after you have cleared a clog), add a bit of bleach every Spring to save yourself the expense of removing and/or repainting over an ugly rust stain on your siding or brick!
Replace broken sprinkler heads. Run a manual cycle on your sprinklers, and take a walk around your yard to see if any sprinkler heads are gushing water, spraying the fence, sidewalk or street and NOT your grass, or are missing altogether! For about $6 bucks a piece, you can buy a whole new replacement sprinkler head and easily screw it back in. Properly functioning sprinkler heads can save you a lot of money on your water bill each month… not to mention keep your fence from fading due to water hitting it constantly!
I hope these 5 maintenance tips/checks will help keep your property in tip-top shape, as well as avoiding a possible disaster… or at the very least, help you avoid a nasty annoyance… like sharing your home with unwanted furry guests that keep you up at night with their noisy shenanigans while you’re trying to sleep!
Submitting an offer on a home without ever setting foot inside is not new… and now with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has become more common place for buyers who simply don't want to take any risks. But is this a smart thing to do?