Summers in Santa Rosa are warm and dry. Our Mediterranean climate keeps the weather pleasant almost all year long, and that’s just one of the reasons so many people love living here.
When you own investment properties, you need to think seasonally. It’s an important part of preventative maintenance.
As we approach a new season, it’s time to think about how you maintain your rental homes for the summer. A checklist is a great way to stay organized and ensure that you’re taking care of all the minor but important details that come with maintaining your property throughout the season of long days and cool nights.
To keep your property well-maintained, make sure you have a maintenance plan in place and a schedule for inspections and cleanings.
Here’s a list of the things we pay attention to, as professional property managers in Santa Rosa.
Maintain your HVAC System
If you provide air conditioning in your Santa Rosa rental home, you’ll want to make sure it’s running well all summer long. Have your HVAC system inspected and serviced by a qualified technician. This will tell you that everything is working properly. It will also extend the lifespan of your heating and cooling unit. This will help you save money later on costly repairs and replacements.
Your HVAC professional will likely check the compressor, the heating system, and the ventilation as well.
Make sure the tenants know how often to change the air filters. One of the most crucial aspects of any air conditioner is its ability to circulate air throughout the space it’s cooling. That cool air relies on a system of ducts that run throughout a property. Even the most efficient ductwork isn’t enough by itself, though—you need the air moving through those ducts to be fresh and clean at all times.
Your heating and cooling system is probably one of the most expensive systems in your property. You want to maintain it so you can avoid expensive problems and desperate maintenance calls from residents.
Check in with your residents as summer arrives. It’s a good opportunity to find out if any minor repairs or replacements are needed. Make sure the thermostat works well and do an audit of insulation. Is cool air escaping? If so, seal up the doors and windows.
Preparing your air conditioning system for near-daily usage needs to be a priority when it comes to summer maintenance plans.
Restore Your Floors
Summer is a good time to check in on the condition of your floors, especially if you have tile and grout that may need cleaning and stripping. This isn’t always easy if you have a tenant in place; but, if you happen to have a vacancy during the summer months, take care of this preventative maintenance measure when you can.
When you’re renting out a home with tile and stone floors or any type of travertine, marble, limestone, pavers, etc., you’ll protect their condition and the value of the entire property by having those surfaces cleaned and restored.
Cleaning is recommended every two years. Have a flooring expert strip and deep clean your floors, seal and buff the tiles to a high gloss or matte finish, and replace grout as needed.
Check in on other flooring types as well. Does the carpet need to be replaced? Should the hardwood floors be waxed?
This is a good time to inspect the grout and caulk in showers, vanities, and countertops as well.
Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping for Santa Rosa Summers
Summer is a good time to evaluate your landscaping and curb appeal.
If you’re not already engaging professional services, schedule regular lawn maintenance for your rental property as summer approaches. The way you handle this will depend on how your lease agreement sets forth the lawn and garden responsibilities. If you have a lease in place that makes your residents responsible for the lawn and the landscaping, check in with them before the season starts. Make sure they have a plan for summer mowing and lawn care.
Not all residents will be willing to keep up with the landscaping as much as you’d like them to. So, whether you’ve decided that it’s their responsibility or yours, the approaching summer season may give you an opportunity to re-evaluate where things stand.
Instead of leaving it to tenants, hire a landscaping or lawn care company to take care of your lawn throughout the summer. You can have professionals take care of the mowing and the weeding once spring arrives and moves into summer. Working with a professional lawn maintenance team will ensure your landscaping is protected and your home continues to look attractive.
When you get on a regular service plan, it won’t be too expensive, and you can include the cost in the rent when you’re setting your rental price.
Summer is when you really notice the state of your lawn, your landscaping, and your entire outdoor vibe. Invest in keeping things looking good. This will help your strategy for attracting and retaining good tenants.
Irrigation Maintenance: Gutters and Sprinklers
Santa Rosa’s drought emergency has ended, and there’s more flexibility in the way you water your grass, clean your patio, and even power wash your property. You and your residents are permitted to water the lawn any time of day without water restrictions.
But, there isn’t total freedom to use all the water you want. You’ll still need to comply with statewide water savings measures issued by the State Water Resources Control Board. State measures call for residential and commercial water users to reduce their water use by prohibiting or limiting the washing of hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. You also need to be careful about filling decorative fountains or water elements at your property.
If you’re committed to low-maintenance landscaping, you likely don’t have any fountains or ponds to worry about.
You do have to think about your irrigation system, however, and summer is a great time to inspect and maintain it.
Clean out your gutters every summer, so you can remove any leaves, sticks, and other debris. When these things clog the gutters, moisture can get into the property, which is a headache you do not need. The gutter cleaning is not something you want to leave to your tenants. There’s a lot of liability when you ask them to get on a ladder and scoop environmental waste out of the gutters of your property.
If you have sprinklers, they will also need your attention in the summer months. Make sure there aren’t any leaks in your irrigation system or rusty spots that can lead to further deterioration or breakdowns.
Close any manual drains that were left open if the sprinklers were off for the winter. Adjust the spray patterns and the timing so your sprinklers will be ready to water your lawn.
Check for Fire Hazards
Statistically speaking, fires at residential properties are more common during the summer months, and you want to make sure your tenants remain safe in their homes. Here’s how to check for fire hazards and ensure fire safety during your summer maintenance check-up:
- Make sure all your fire extinguishers are up to date.
- Share any evacuation or emergency plans with your tenant.
- Check smoke detectors.
- Clean out lint in dryers if your property has in-unit laundry.
- Evaluate your electrical installations to ensure they are up to date and functional.
It’s easy to ignore minor problems, but you shouldn’t. Those outlets that don’t work or that light that never really turns on can seem like minor annoyances and nothing more. But, they could potentially lead to larger problems.
Inspect Your Property’s Exterior
Residents will likely spend more time outside during the summer months. You’ll want to be sure they’re comfortable and safe while out there. Part of your summer maintenance plan should be inspecting and evaluating the roof, the garage, the windows, and the doors. Make sure the outdoor space is welcoming and comfortable. It has to be functional, too. If you have a deck, maybe it needs to be resealed. If there’s a balcony or a patio, make sure it’s secure and there’s no rot or rust.
Pay attention to your garage or carport. They might need paint, new stain, or even oil if the garage doors are creaky. Any part of your property that’s exposed to the sun could need some fresh paint. Lubricate the garage door hinges, wheels, tension springs, and all moving parts of the lift motor(s) to improve smooth operation.
Summer is an opportune time to catch up with any maintenance issues you may have ignored previously. Take the time to invest in summer maintenance. It’s good for your tenants and for your property.
Not sure where to start or how to take care of these things while you have a resident living in your rental property? We can make things easier, more efficient, and probably more affordable. When you’re ready to talk about summer maintenance or anything pertaining to property management in Santa Rosa, please contact us at Redwood Residential Property Management.