Tips to Winterize Roofs and Gutters on Rental Properties and Prevent Costly Rental Home Repairs

Winterizing a rental property’s exterior before the cold months of winter arrive is an important step in protecting your rental real estate investment. Your North Carolina rental property preventative maintenance plan should include some steps to get your properties ready for winter.

Trim Weak and Dead Tree Branches

Snow and ice can cause diseased, dead or weak tree branches to break off and fall on your rental properties. Trimming overhanging tree limbs is a good place to start your exterior winterizing plan. This small task can easily prevent the need for a more costly repair down the road. Be sure to have your trimming crew cut back any shrubbery rubbing against the building or hanging over the roof.

Remove Fallen Leaves and Debris

Another critical step in your rental property preventive maintenance plan for winter is to remove leaves and debris (e.g. the tree limbs you just trimmed) from your roof. All the little valleys on your roof, particularly when extending structures likes chimneys and vents join your roof, create traps for leaves, limbs, acorns and other debris. That excess debris on your roof also traps moisture and, as most landlords know, excess moisture is a major factor in many costly rental property repairs.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Water management is crucial to preserve your investment properties. After cleaning off the roof, move on to your gutters and downspouts. Winterize your gutters and downspouts by removing all leaves and debris. If leaves and debris are blocking gutters and downspouts, water can spill over the side and damage siding and foundations or freeze and cause other problems.

Prevent Unwanted Tenants – Squirrels, Mice, Etc.

Now that you have your roof and gutters cleaned check to ensure there are no openings which will allow unwanted animals to enter your rental home. Squirrels, birds, mice and other small animals can cause a lot of damage to the structure, to electrical wires, plumbing, insulation, and more. The holes creatures make on the exterior can contribute to water damage. When inspecting your roof and exterior for signs of animal intruders, check under eaves, corners where edges meet and in gutters.

Visual Inspection of Roof

While you are winterizing your roof and gutters on your North Carolina rental home in preparation for winter, it is also a good idea to perform a visual inspection of the roof and make any minor repairs needed to prevent major issues. While you could do this yourself, a roofing professional is more likely to spot problems you may miss. If you decide to perform the visual inspection yourself, be careful! Look for dry rot around vent boots, broken or missing shingles, silicone on exposed nail heads and look for granulate loss in gutters, which indicates failing asphalt shingles.

For more valuable tips to protect your rental property in winter, make sure to read these six simple steps. If you are interested in additional valuable tips for landlords, make sure to visit our property management blog often. For answers to any other questions about how to protect your North Carolina rental real estate investment properties while growing your bottom line, please contact us.