One of the reasons a lot of us live in Texas is the weather. We like the long summers, and typically, we enjoy pleasant shifts in season rather than extreme or severe weather. Temperatures and weather patterns aren’t as predictable as they once were, however, and that means you have to be prepared for just about anything.
Lately, Texas has seen surprise snowfalls, ice storms, drought, and extreme heat. We have tornadoes and tropical storms. You can’t control the weather. But, you can control how you protect your Dallas-Fort Worth rental property, and the best way to do that is with a preventative maintenance plan. Here’s what we recommend as local Dallas property managers.
Severe Weather Checklist
Start with the basics when you’re preparing your rental property to withstand unexpected and intense weather. Here’s what we recommend:
- Clean gutters and downspouts at least twice a year. When you make this part of your seasonal preventative maintenance plan, you have a better chance of protecting your property when extreme weather arrives. As the roof on your rental property sheds water, the gutters that collect that water need to be clear so the water can be pushed away from your property.
- Trim back trees and branches. When trees are too close to your property and the branches and other debris cover the roof, strong winds can bring those branches down, damaging the roof and even windows and siding. Any dry or dead branches will easily snap when the winds pick up. You don’t want those branches becoming darts that head for cars or people.
- While you’re checking your roof, take care to look for loose or curling shingles. Inspect for any points where water may be able to get inside.
- Winterize your rental properties, whether they’re occupied or vacant. Get someone into the crawl spaces where pipes may be exposed under the property. Detach the hoses from your property and check the irrigation systems. You’ll want to blow out the lines and check the sprinklers.
- Have your heating and cooling system inspected and serviced once or twice a year. When you have a reliable and professional HVAC contractor checking in before the winter and the summer, you will cut down on the likelihood that tenants will be without heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.
Educate Tenants on How to Prepare for Severe Weather
Educate your Dallas-Fort Worth tenants on how to keep themselves and your investment property safe and protected during periods of severe weather. Remind them to keep the pipes running when it’s cold so nothing freezes. If they’re going to be out of town for a while, have them leave the heat on a reasonable setting so the property doesn’t get too cold and invite disaster.
When a tropical storm is forecasted or a danger of tornadoes, ask them to secure or put away patio furniture and umbrellas. Just as a broken tree limb could turn into a deadly weapon during high winds, so, too, can a lawn chair or a decorative patio item. Have them check the yard and secure anything that might be blown away in high winds.
You also want tenants to have their own emergency plan in place. They should have flashlights, bottled water, and charged cell phones in case power goes out. Provide information on the closest hospitals, police stations, and fire departments. When you work together, you and your tenants can protect each other and your rental property from the damage that severe weather can inflict.
Working with a professional Dallas-Fort Worth property management company is also a good way to protect yourself and your assets from the threat of extreme weather. If you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Assign Property Management.