Essential Winter Prep for London, Ontario Rentals

Real estate agent

June 22, 2024

Winter in London, Ontario, brings cold temperatures, snow, and ice, posing challenges for rental property owners. Properly preparing your properties for the winter season is essential to protect your investment, ensure tenant safety, and prevent costly repairs. Here are some crucial steps landlords should take to winterize their rental properties.

1. Inspect and Service Heating Systems

Before the cold weather sets in, have a professional inspect and service your property's heating systems. Ensure that furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps are in good working order. Clean or replace filters to maintain efficiency and prevent breakdowns. A well-maintained heating system ensures that your tenants stay warm and reduces the risk of emergency repairs during the winter.

2. Insulate and Seal

Proper insulation and sealing are critical for energy efficiency and preventing heat loss. Check the insulation in attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Seal gaps around windows, doors, and any other openings where cold air can infiltrate. Adding weatherstripping and caulking can significantly reduce drafts and lower heating costs, making the property more comfortable for tenants.

3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to back up and freeze, leading to ice dams and potential water damage to the property. Clean out leaves and debris from gutters and ensure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation. Installing gutter guards can help prevent future clogs and maintain proper drainage.

4. Protect Pipes from Freezing

Frozen pipes can burst and cause extensive water damage. Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas such as basements, attics, and garages. Encourage tenants to keep the heat on, even when they are away, and to let faucets drip during extreme cold to prevent pipes from freezing. Remind them to keep cabinet doors open under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

5. Maintain Walkways and Driveways

Snow and ice on walkways and driveways can create hazardous conditions for tenants. Arrange for regular snow removal and ice treatment to keep these areas safe. Provide tenants with ice melt or sand to use on slippery surfaces. Clear paths also ensure that emergency services can access the property if needed.

6. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Winter is a prime time for increased use of heating systems, which can raise the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning correctly. Replace batteries and units as needed, and remind tenants about the importance of these safety devices.

7. Plan for Emergencies

Have a plan in place for winter emergencies, such as power outages or severe weather events. Provide tenants with emergency contact numbers and instructions for handling winter-related issues. Ensure that they know how to shut off the water supply in case of a burst pipe and have a contingency plan for alternative heating options if the primary system fails.

Conclusion

Preparing your rental properties for the winter season in London, Ontario, is essential for protecting your investment and ensuring tenant safety. By taking proactive steps to winterize your properties, you can prevent costly repairs, maintain energy efficiency, and provide a comfortable living environment for your tenants. Winter preparation is a crucial aspect of property management that can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.