Brace yourselves! Winter is Coming…
Have you thought about your portfolio and what you may need to do now that there have been further restrictions put in place?
The new restrictions as we move ever closer to Winter come as no surprise and hopefully with the added benefit of foresight we all know what to expect now as the days draw in. However one area that some may not have thought about is their property list and the maintenance that comes with the cooler weather. I’m sure most of you need no reminder of what the colder months bring in terms of maintenance.. Boiler breakdowns (reported at 5pm on a Friday!).. Cracked pipes due to frost.. Leaks from stormy weather or heavy rain and chimneys that are blocked from lack of use during the warmer months in the year.
With restrictions in some areas meaning non essential travel is out of the question it would be best to get a handle on these things now and get a plan in place. Nobody likes that 5pm call on a Friday when a boiler has stopped working but an even worse scenario would be if you didn’t have a maintenance plan in place to deal with it! Imagine the stress! .. No thanks!
Anyway.. That’s where we come in with this handy article! Here are our top tips to see you through your maintenance as we head into our first Covid-19 winter!
Tip # 1
Communicate with your tenants. Remind them of the process for reporting maintenance and any changes that might have occurred now as a result of the new restrictions.
*Hot Tip* Are you aware that Elevate allows your tenants to submit maintenance issues online? You’ll receive an email notification for each such submission and then decide whether to progress it as a ticket. A simple email including the tenant issue link might be all it takes and could save you some headaches!
Tip # 2
Get ahead with routine maintenance if you can. If the landlord is in a position to have the gardens tended to, trees and bushes trimmed back then hopefully if we see whether similar to Hurricane Ophelia a few years ago there will be minimal clean up afterwards!
*Hot Tip* Don’t forget you can request and record multiple quotes in Elevate which would be perfect for a job like this.
Tip # 3
Don’t forget the gutters! Get these cleared out during this Autumn season, ready for Winter. If they are clogged up with leaves and foliage (or whatever else ends up in there…) then they can become blocked and prevent drainage during heavy rain. This can cause leaks… and leaks are bad… very bad… we don’t want leaks! …especially if we end up with Hurricane Ophelia’s big sister!
Tip # 4
Lagging your water pipes is one of the most cost effective ways you can avoid frozen pipes in the depths of winter, particularly in a vacant property. Check the pipes in your properties during your routine inspections in the Summer months for details like this, this way you can schedule this work well ahead of Winter.
*Hot Tip* Set yourself tasks in Elevate to remind yourself to check pipes for lagging at your property inspections!
Tip # 5
Check all outstanding maintenance and look out for things like leaking taps. These little maintenance issues may appear just that..little.. But let me assure you that in Winter these can turn into massive problems! A leaking water tap for example can cause water in the waste water pipe to freeze resulting in damage and a bigger repair bill than what would have been the replacement of maybe just a washer to begin with!
*Hot Tip* You can run a report in Elevate to view all uncompleted tickets, check your list carefully for any maintenance issues that could turn into bigger problems over the Winter
We may not have thought of everything but hopefully some of these tips will help you avoid any mishaps during what is no doubt gearing up to be a long Winter!