Keep­ing your home in tip top shape

Lesotho Times - - Property -

JUST about ev­ery­one takes care of the main­te­nance on their per­sonal home; it’s a mat­ter of pride for most of us. We all know that it doesn’t take too long for lit­tle prob­lems to be­come big prob­lems.

Why is it that they don’t get taken care of in a timely man­ner? Land­lords cer­tainly know that the fail­ure to dili­gently mon­i­tor the con­di­tion of their prop­er­ties can lead to costly dam­age over time.

An­other down­side to not tak­ing care of rou­tine main­te­nance is that it will al­ways lead to un­happy ten­ants, and un­happy ten­ants move out. This leaves you not only with a lot of costly re­pairs you have to do any­way but de­lays in get­ting the home is rented again.

It’s time to stop pro­cras­ti­nat­ing. Here’s a quick check­list you can use for your keep­ing your prop­er­ties in tip top shape.

1. Keep all wood on the ex­te­rior of the home painted. Fail­ure to keep th­ese ar­eas painted will lead to soft­ness and de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the wood which can quickly be­come a costly re­pair.

2. Make sure the dirt around your foun­da­tion prop­erly slopes away from the foun­da­tion and not to­wards it. Fill in any holes around the foun­da­tion and if nec­es­sary, and add dirt back­fill around the foun­da­tion to en­sure that wa­ter drains away from the home and not into a base­ment or crawl space.

3. Keep your gut­ters free of leaves and de­bris. Fail­ure to do so can al­low wa­ter to back up in the gut­ters and over­flow which could lead to wa­ter pen­e­tra­tion into your home. Add ex­ten­ders to your down­spouts so they don’t empty next to the foun­da­tion.

4. Check all win­dows and doors for gaps and seal them with a weather proof sealant to pre­vent wa­ter pen­e­tra­tion. Th­ese ar­eas need to be sealed to pre­vent wa­ter in­tru­sion and se­ri­ous dam­age. This will also help pre­vent heat loss in your home. Your ten­ants will thank you for this.

5. Rou­tinely in­spect any trees on your prop­erty for dead limbs or limbs that may be hang­ing down. Also keep an eye of the base of your trees. Any trees that are rot­ted at the bot­tom need to be re­moved be­fore they fall on your house or a neigh­bour’s house. Trees not only will cause dam­age to the prop­erty, but dead limbs can be­come a li­a­bil­ity is­sue if they fall and in­jure some­one.

6. Mon­i­tor your roof for dam­aged or miss­ing shin­gles. You should be es­pe­cially vig­i­lant af­ter bad storms and high winds. Dam­aged or miss­ing shin­gles can al­low wa­ter pen­e­tra­tion which in­evitably leads to dam­age on the in­te­rior of the prop­erty. This damp­ness will al­low mold to grow which can hide in your at­tic or be­hind the dry­wall as a re­sult of even a small roof leak. Mold can be­come a se­ri­ous and costly prob­lem to cor­rect.

7. If you have a wood burning fire­place, have the chim­ney in­spected and cleaned once a year. It doesn’t take much cre­osote to cause a chim­ney fire. Per­son­ally I don’t like to have th­ese types of fire­places in rental prop­erty.

8. Have the heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem cleaned and in­spected at least once a year for safety rea­sons. Also re­mem­ber that the fil­ters should be changed monthly. This will al­low the sys­tem to run more ef­fi­ciently and will place less wear and tear on it. Keep all veg­e­ta­tion cleared away from the ex­te­rior air con­di­tion­ing unit to al­low for proper air flow and func­tion. Th­ese should be ten­ant re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and I rec­om­mend that they be in your lease and be part of the dis­cus­sion when the lease is signed.

9. If you have a crawl space, you need to en­ter this area at least once a year and check this area. Look at the walls and the plumb­ing for signs of leak­ing. A musty smell in the home, higher than nor­mal wa­ter bills and pud­dles on the floor of the crawl space can be in­di­ca­tors of a prob­lem. If this area has stand­ing wa­ter in it, do not en­ter it. Call a pro­fes­sional con­trac­tor to get rid of the wa­ter and fig­ure out what the prob­lem is. Many times il­le­gal wiring can be found in crawl spa­ces and stand­ing wa­ter can be­come deadly.

10. If you have ground fault cir­cuit in­ter­rupters in the re­cep­ta­cles in your prop­erty, they must be tested or tripped on a monthly ba­sis or they may not func­tion prop­erly. Fail­ure to trip them reg­u­larly can re­sult in ground fault cir­cuit in­ter­rupters that ei­ther will not trip or will not re­set af­ter they are tripped. This should be part of rou­tine home main­te­nance, and it’s easy to ed­u­cate ten­ants to do this.

Take a lit­tle time reg­u­larly to stay on top of rou­tine prop­erty main­te­nance, and you will save your­self a lot of time and money in the long run. — big­gerpock­ets

THE build­ing process can be long and ar­du­ous so make sure you take some time out to clear your head.

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